Colorado horse virus cases continue to rise

PUEBLO — There are now eight confirmed cases of equine herpes virus in Colorado, including two horses that had to be euthanized, and 22 suspected cases, the Colorado Department of Agriculture said today.

Ten quarantine orders also have been issued in six counties: Bent, Boulder, Larimer, Mesa, Morgan and Weld.

“Protecting Colorado’s horse industry is our utmost concern right now and we are continuing to work with horse owners and veterinarians to contain this disease,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. “While the number of confirmed cases continue to increase, we are encouraged by the number of horse owners who have contacted us and are being proactive about disease control practices on their farms and ranches.”

Colorado State Fair organizers have voluntarily canceled three horse events in Pueblo.

“We decided to reschedule these events to limit the number of horses traveling to and from our fairgrounds,” said State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. “Our horse shows are important to the fair and to Colorado as a whole and we want to be proactive in protecting our horse community.”

The canceled events include the Zamora Roping originally scheduled for May 20-22, the Mounted Shooting Regional originally scheduled May 27-30 and the Sagebrush Slide Cow Horse Show that was set for June 1-5.

The disease has been traced to horses at the Western National Cutting Horse Finals in Ogden, Utah, earlier this month.

Horse owners who want to transport their animals are being advised to call their veterinarian, who will have to request a permit number for the horse’s health certificate, already required for entry.

Authorities said Wednesday at least 18 horses in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, California, Washington and Canada have been infected with the virus and at least three have died.


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