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Horse farm owners considering prosecuting government for outbreak of AHS virus

10 Apr 2020

Updating regards our previous article about horse movement being banned for 90 days in order to stop spreading AHS outbreak.

An outbreak of African Horse Sickness in 4 provinces, including Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Phetchaburi, has already killed more than 200 horses since it was first recorded on March 26. Now at least 1 horse farm owner is contemplating suing the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation department, along with other departments, for clearance of wildlife imports from Africa. It is suspected that African zebras are the cause of the disease that has infected many highly valued racehorses.

Uthen Chatphinyo, owner of a racehorse farm in Nakhon Ratchasima, claims AHS has destroyed 21 of their 160 horses.

The horses that died were priced at around 50 million baht. One farm owner claims he already lost 20 horses he's raised for auction. Every horse was priced at between 400,000 and 800,000 baht.

Yesterday a group of owners and academics urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to include AHS in the list of diseases that are to be regulated under the Animal Outbreaks Act. The act bans the transport of animals, forbids the importation of zebras and other types of wildlife and requires a committee to interact with AHS.

A former dean of the Kasetsart University Faculty of Fisheries said it is necessary to figure out who imported AHS-infected wildlife from Africa which led to transmission of the disease to local horses.

There is an AHS vaccine although it is not accessible in Thailand at the moment.

Source: Thaiger