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An outbreak of African Horse Sickness, or African Plague, which recently emerged in Nakhon Ratchasima district of Pak Chong, has killed well over 500 horses and has now spread to nearby Saraburi province. According to officials from Saraburi Livestock Development, at least 28 recent horse deaths in Saraburi are attributed to AHS, a highly infectious and deadly disease.
The department vaccinated horses in 58 of the 76 farms in the province, accounting for 70 percent of the 685 horses registered there. According to the Thai Equestrian Federation, the disease spread via gnats and midges continues to move east, west and south of Pak Chong and now affects provinces, most recently Phetchaburi and now Saraburi.
Ban Rai Saman Farm owner in tambon Tha Ma Prang says his horses started dying earlier this month, with ten already dying and another horse sick. He holds 24 horses, which are generally used to teach autistic children to ride, but some are often hired out for film shooting.
He says he has now covered his stables with nets to keep out insects carrying AHS, as recommended by local animal development authorities, who visited his farm after alerting them to the recent deaths. The virus-carrying insects can fly for over 100 kilometres.
An assistant cattle development officer in Saraburi said AHS infections were reported in Kaeng Khoi, Muak Lek, Phra Phutthabat, Chalerm Prakiat, Nong Don, and Nong Saeng districts in Saraburi.
He says 877 of the remaining 1,161 horses in Pak Chong have been vaccinated so far, since the virus has already claimed the lives of 433 horses in that district alone.
Source The Thaiger