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Horse illness and sudden horse deaths in Victoria

Racing SA refers to recent notices by Racing Victoria and Agriculture Victoria in respect of sudden horse illnesses and deaths on the Mornington Peninsula, south-east Melbourne (Cranbourne) and near Ballarat and Colac in the west.

To date, there have been no reports of cases in South Australia.

Early indications from Agriculture Victoria are that all horses (13) are believed to have died quickly with short term non-specific signs of illness and it is not yet known what has caused these deaths. Early testing for a wide variety of infectious diseases, including Hendra and anthrax, has been negative however the investigation remains ongoing.

In a statement on Monday, Victoria’s chief veterinary officer Dr Graeme Cooke said “…an investigation is underway in an attempt to understand the possible cause of illness and death of the horses”.

Agriculture Victoria have indicated that as testing of samples for infectious disease to date has been negative, there’s no cause to restrict any movements of horses or separate horses at this stage. Horse events and movements can go ahead as planned.

The most recent statement published by Agriculture Victoria and further updates can be accessed via the following link:

Horse owners should monitor their animals and report any sudden deaths or rapid onset illness immediately to their local vet or via the emergency animal disease hotline on 1800 675 888.

Further, any occurrence should also be reported to the Racing SA Integrity Department on (08) 8179 9864.

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