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Quarantined Hoosier Horses Removed

Published: September 30, 2009 9:30 pm ET

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Hoosier Park Racing and Casino has detected two horses in the quarantine barn exhibiting fever. As a precautionary measure, both horses have been removed from the grounds into a secondary quarantine facility per recommendation from the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

On Wednesday, September 30, two horses were discovered with spikes in temperature following the second of three readings on every horse throughout the day. Although the first temperature reading of the day was not elevated, the second reading five hours later showed an increase in both horses. As a result, the horses were immediately sampled and transported to a secondary quarantine facility off property, which is standard operating protocol under the guidelines of the current biosecurity measures in place due to the recent infection detected in one of 16 barns for Streptococcus equi (Equine Strangles).

"Hoosier Park has been following stringent biosecurity procedures outlined by the Board of Animal Health throughout this entire quarantine process," said Dr. Tim Bartlett, equine director for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. "At this point, the infection has been minimized to one barn on the backstretch. There is always the potential for other clinical cases to arise. Meanwhile, Hoosier Park is going to extraordinary measures to protect the health and safety of the horses on and off the track."

Fifty-five horses remain quarantined in one of 16 barns on the backstretch. A second nasal swab will be performed Thursday, October 1. Test results are expected back from the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center Tuesday, October 6. All other horses stabled on the backstretch are not under quarantine. The backstretch, which consists of 1,032 stalls, is fully operational and no disruption to business has been experienced.

“Our biosecurity procedures require the temperature of every horse in quarantine be recorded three times daily,” said Dr. Dan Eichhorn, track veterinarian. “One of the first potential signs for sickness is an elevated temperature. This procedure allows us to detect sickness in its early stages, therefore allowing us to remove them from the premises before increasing the risk of infection to other horses. So far, the horses showing signs of sickness have all been limited to one block of stall space in the quarantine barn. No other horses outside of this small area or in the rest of the barns at Hoosier Park have demonstrated any kinds of symptoms relevant to this situation.”

Stringent biosecurity procedures continue to be implemented by Hoosier Park officials, who continue to keep in constant contact with state and track veterinarians monitoring the incident. Additional extensive biosecurity measures are also in place for special training hours regarding all horses in quarantine. A full list of biosecurity procedures currently being followed is available through the public relations department at Hoosier Park.

(Hoosier Park)

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