Virus outbreak fatal for horses

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Experts have placed restrictions on Devonshire horses after an expected disease outbreak.

A stud farm at High Bickington, near Umberleigh has been hit by equine herpes virus, reports the Western Morning News. Commonly known as EHV-1, the disease is lethal to horses and two stallions have already had to be put down.

Vauterhill Stud Farm stables 180 horses for breeding purposes. Owner Graham Heal has put the establishment under a lockdown to prevent the disease from spreading.

Dr Colin Barker, head of diagnostic microbiology at the Animal Health Trust, said: "We are working with Graham Heal and his family to get the situation under control."

He added: "Everything is isolated and locked down and we are using different tests to thoroughly screen every horses to get this cleared up."

Riders and owners are advised to make sure the give their horses regular check-ups and avoid contaminated areas.

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