W.Va. blocks horses from Pa. racetrack

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia enacted a 30-day embargo prohibiting shipment of horses from Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa.

Agriculture Commissioner Gus R. Douglass signed the order Feb. 25.

Rhino outbreak. An outbreak of equine rhinopneumonitis, commonly known as equine herpes virus, at the facility has sickened three horses and led to the humane euthanization of two.

“We are taking this action to prevent the spread of this disease, particularly to our racetracks in Chester and Charles Town,” Douglass said.

A similar outbreak occurred in Findlay, Ohio, in January, sickening 30 horses and leading to the deaths of 10.

Equine rhinopneumonitis can occur in any of three forms: respiratory, reproductive and neurological. There are vaccines available but they do not cover the neurological form of the disease.

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