AHS movement restrictions in Western Cape suspended

The Western Cape agriculture department has announced the lifting of movement restrictions on horses that were put in place due to earlier reports of African Horse Sickness (AHS) in the province.

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In May, Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape MEC for agriculture, announced certain veterinary control measures after preliminary laboratory tests done on a horse that died on a property near Melkbosstrand on the West Coast indicated that the cause of death might have been AHS.

The property on which the horse died falls within the AHS Surveillance Zone and as a result all movement of horses, mules, donkeys and zebra within, into, out of, or through the area was prohibited. In a statement issued by the Western Cape agriculture department on behalf of the provincial chief director of veterinary services, Dr Gininda Msiza, based on the investigations performed in the affected area, it has been decided to relax the veterinary control measures that were instated in May with immediate effect.

Meanwhile the general movement restrictions of equines into, within, out of and through the various AHS zones in South Africa are still being implemented nationally and horses may only move to the AHS Controlled Area within the Western Cape under certain conditions, the department said.

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