Miami Animal Import Horse Quarantine Reopens after 4 Horses Die What caused eight horses to become sick and four to die at the horse quarantine facility? photo by Jon Stroud

Miami Animal Import Horse Quarantine Reopens after 4 Horses Die

Horse quarantine: illness unknown

The Miami Animal Import horse quarantine facility reopens after four horses died from a still unidentified illness.

Staff completed a thorough cleaning and disinfection allowing the quarantine facility to get back to business. Albeit, there are fewer horse stalls available than normal says Joelle R. Hayden, public affairs specialist with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). She tells us that’s because some of the stalls’ floors are being replaced.

The horse quarantine facility closed in mid-January after horses started becoming sick in December. Eight horses showed signs of lameness prior to receiving what the USDA’s APHIS calls “immediate medical treatment”.  In the end, four horses died and four horses recovered from the illness.

At the time, veterinary experts suspected salmonella as the cause of the illness. Although, subsequent testing of 180 environmental samples from the facility were negative for salmonella.

In addition, veterinarians tested the ill horses for a variety of diseases including E. coli, Equine Influenza, Equine Herpesvirus, Aeromonas caviae, Torovirus, Coronavirus, Lawsonia intracellularis, Neorickettsia risticii, and Clostridium ssp, as well as toxins. The cause of the illness remains unknown.

During the closure, imported horses used private horse quarantine facilities. Additionally, the USDA has another animal import center available in New York.