Kentucky Provides Updates on EHV, Movement Protocols From Gulfstream Park

Sarah K. Andrew

Ten days after Gulfstream Park identified a horse who was displaying signs of EHV, Kentucky's Department of the State Veterinarian issued new guidelines on protocols for horses moving from Florida to Kentucky

Current guidelines require that all horses entering a Kentucky racetrack or sanctioned training facility meet the additional requirements of having a 72-hour Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) and also meet the state's EHV-1 vaccination requirement of having been vaccinated a minimum of 14 days and no more than 120 days prior to entering the stable area. The 14-day minimum applies only to horses that have not been vaccinated during the preceding 120 days.

“There has been no change in the status at Gulfstream Park,” Rusty Ford, Kentucky State Veterinarian Office's Equine Operations Consultant, said. “One case of a neurologic horse has been confirmed positive for EHV1. The horse became recumbent and was euthanized [and] 174 horses remain housed in the affected barn and are under an official quarantine. Florida state veterinary officials have been conducting the epidemiologic investigation as well as managing and monitoring the quarantine. I have also received notification that a review of the records of horses moving out of the affected barn during the 2 weeks preceding the diagnosis did not identify any horse moving to Kentucky.

“At this point-in-time we understand there has been no testing of the 174 exposed horses and lacking additional symptomatic horses being reported there is currently no plan to test. My understanding is the horses in the quarantined barn may qualify for release following 21 days of no additional cases being reported or diagnosed. Though these 174 horses are under quarantine and have not since January 21 had direct contact with other horses on the grounds at Gulfstream, the lack of testing these exposed horses has raised our concern.

“Movement of the non-quarantined horses currently stabled, or horses that had been on the grounds of Gulfstream Park since January 20th, can continue to be conditionally allowed entry onto a KY track/training facility and be stabled on the grounds.”

Horses moving from Gulfstream (or having recently been on the grounds) can be allowed entry if the horse meets the published requirements for entry in addition to the modification listed below:
– Prior to a horse destined to a KY track/training facility departing, the horse's trainer or veterinarian is to contact the equine medical director, or his designated person, and provide required information on each horse that is seeking approval to move to the track.
– Approval of a designated horse to enter the Kentucky destination track by that track's equine medical director is based on the condition that the horse is to be temperature monitored and recorded twice daily for seven (7) days post arrival with the temperature logs posted on the stall. Any elevated fever or other sign or suspicion of illness shall immediately be reported to the equine medical director.
– The horse is to travel on a Health Certificate showing examination and issuance of the certificate performed the day of departure or during the 12 hours immediately preceding the departure. The certificate shall have the EHV vaccination recorded on it as well as the date the equine medical director approved the move and the estimated time of departure and KY arrival.

“These requirements are being adjusted in consultation with the track's equine medical directors and are subject to change without any advanced notice being provided should the disease event at Gulfstream Park change,” Ford said.

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