Equine Viral Arteritis confirmed in Dorset

11 April 2019

The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer confirmed on 4 April 2019, two cases of Equine Viral Arteritis in non-thoroughbred stallions on a premises in Dorset. There is no risk to public health.

Restrictions on breeding have been put in place on the animals to limit the risk of the disease spreading and further investigations are ongoing. The animals affected are not racehorses and there is no indication that upcoming racing events will be affected.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:

We have taken swift action to limit the risk of the disease spreading by placing breeding restrictions on the animals and their semen. A full investigation is underway to determine the source and possible spread of the infection. Owners of mares and stallions are urged to have their animals tested before they are used for breeding.

These findings remind us that we must all be vigilant for signs of disease and follow strict biosecurity measures.

You can help prevent the disease spreading by:

  • vaccinating stallions against the disease - talk to your vet for advice
  • practising good biosecurity on your premises
  • owners of mares and stallions are urged to have their animals tested before they are used for breeding.

If you suspect equine viral arteritis please get in touch with the Animal and Plant Health Agency. If you wish to have your horse tested on a precautionary basis contact your private vet and have your animal tested at an accredited laboratory.