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Equine biosafety – Audio

Liv Sandberg, Extension Equine Specialist
Department of Animal Science
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 263-4303, (608) 263-4300

Equine biosafety

3:03 – Total Time
0:17 – Biosecurity for horses7343670606_0f661be106_z
0:47 – Examples include equine herpes virus
1:07 – Preventing contagious disease
1:47 – Other biosafety measures
2:18 – Contagious disease more common
2:29 – Where to get more information
2:49 – Lead out


Sevie Kenyon: Practicing good biosafety measures with your equine project. We’re visiting today with Liv Sandberg Department of Animal Science University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.  Liv can you tell us a little about what biosecurity in the equine world is?

Liv Sandberg: Biosecurity is something we have really started to pay a lot more attention about and basically what we are looking at is trying to take measures to prevent the spread of contagious diseases spreading from horse to horse, whether that’s air borne or by nasal secretions, saliva. And we really have started looking at that a lot more in the horse industry because we’ve had some diseases crop up at shows or even after horses have been to particular shows.

Sevie Kenyon: Liv give us some examples of those diseases.

Liv Sandberg: One of the diseases we’ve seen a lot more on the forefront in the last few years is what we call equine herpes virus 1 and 4, but in particular we’ve seen a neurological version of the equine herpes virus 1 and that is spread from horse to horse.

Sevie Kenyon: Liv can you give us some ideas on how people may prevent EHV

Liv Sandberg: There are some simple things that people can do to help prevent EHV. That is to limit horse to horse contact, especially nose to nose. Also make sure that you bring your own water buckets and your own hoses when you’re going to a show or a place where you’re going to have a lot of horses interacting. Bring their own tack and equipment, which most of us do, but bring their own brushes and grooming tools and things like that. Also people can carry the virus from horse to horse so depending on the situation, you may want to limit the horse to human, human to horse interaction also.

Sevie Kenyon: Are there other biosafety measures people should consider as they move around with their horses?

Liv Sandberg: Yes, there are, if you are going to travel with your horse make sure that your horse is healthy and also, when you return back to your home farm if you have horses that are not traveling it may be a good idea to try to have in a separate part of the farm, and then your horses that have been traveling can be isolated on a different section of the farm so that you minimize the risk of transferring what disease they potentially have brought back to your resident animals.

Sevie Kenyon: Liv how common are these contagious diseases?

Liv Sandberg: It seems like we’re seeing them show up a little bit more and more, the possibly animals are traveling a little bit more. They do come about when we have more condensed situations of horses.

Sevie Kenyon: Liv if people are concerned about these diseases, where can they go for more information?

Liv Sandberg: One great place to find really accurate information is what we call the “American Association of Equine Practitioners” and some search words for that would be “horse health” and “American” and there will be a section there that talks about bio security and the different diseases. If you were in Wisconsin you would want to look up the Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting today with Liv Sandberg Department of Animal Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.