RENO, Nev. — Concerned about the threat of a catastrophic outbreak of a herpes virus among wild horse herds in the West, national animal advocates on Thursday called on the federal government to keep potentially infected domestic horses away from mustangs and burros on public lands.
The Humane Society of the United States urged the Bureau of Land Management to “discourage and, if possible and appropriate, prohibit” owners of private horses from bringing animals at risk of Equine Herpes Virus-1 onto federal lands where they could have contact with wild horses.
“The potential for a catastrophic outbreak of EHV-1 among wild horse herds needs to be addressed by the BLM on an emergency basis,” Holly Hazard, the society’s chief innovations officer, wrote in a letter to BLM Director Bob Abbey.
The federal agency should launch a public education campaign immediately about the highly contagious disease, which has infected dozens of horses and killed at least nine, as officials plan horse-related activities for the upcoming holiday weekend, she said.
EHV-1 poses no risk to humans, but can be fatal to horses. It can be airborne and transmitted by touch or by sharing feed, brushes, bits and other equipment.
The virus “is a highly transmittable disease, and the symptoms don’t show.
2 thoughts on “Equine Herpes virus a concern for Wild Horses, BLM Urged To Act”
BLM should cancel all round ups scheduled for this summer to eliminate contact between wild and domestic horses. It is the responsibility/mandate that BLM protect the wild horses/burros from injury,disease etc. Will BLM follow its own rules? This is a serious matter.
Now THIS WOULD BE SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE the BLM could do…instead of their usual crazy roundups, etc. Do you think they will bother with something decent for the horses????