The Thai government submitted a request to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) to endorse Thailand as being free of African Horse Sickness (AHS) on 30 January. The government’s deputy spokeswoman, Ratchada Dhnadirek, believes that the organization will approve the request this year.
African Horse Sickness is a highly infectious disease that affects horses, mules, donkeys, and zebras by attacking the respiratory and circulatory systems, and it has a high mortality rate.
In March 2020, the disease was first reported in Thailand; after the outbreak, 610 horses in 17 provinces became sick and 568 of them died. Since then, the Department of Livestock Development and partner agencies have been working to control and eliminate the disease.
The disease has not been detected in Thailand for over two years now. The Thai government – along with the Department of Livestock Development, the Royal Thai Army’s Animal Department, the Zoological Park Organization of Thailand, and the Thailand Equestrian Federation – has prepared all the necessary documents to show the WOAH that Thailand is free of AHS.
The WOAH scientific committee will review the documents before officially declaring Thailand free of the disease. Once Thailand regains its AHS-free status, it will be eligible to host international equestrian competitions, import and export horses, and freely transport them throughout the country. (PRD)