Horse lovers across the country hold their breath after the spread of the life-threatening equine virus | residence

The rhino-pneumonia virus, which is life-threatening and highly contagious to horses, has spread to the De Snippervlucht pension stable in Doorwerth. The equestrian sector is taking measures to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The Pension Shed in Doorwerth is now tightly locked. Not all horses are allowed to leave the premises for at least one month. “The duration of the quarantine is four weeks, but with each new case we stay locked up longer,” says Dirk Jan van den Buren, owner of De Snippervlucht.

Doorwerth fixed pension visits are only allowed with strict conditions. “It’s a huge gallows.”

One 35-year-old horse died paralyzed from the viral disease. Van den Born confirms that at least seven of the 80 horses in De Snippervlucht have the viral disease. They have tested positive for the virus, but have not shown symptoms yet.


A 35-year-old horse died. The owner is the first to discover the symptoms of rhinovirus. Horse tossed. He couldn’t walk straight

Dirk Jan van den Buren, owner of the pension stable De Snippervlucht

disaster for the sector

The dreaded rhinovirus outbreak has hit the regional equestrian world like a bomb. “This is terrible news for the entire sector,” says Arjan Stadegaard of Pension Stables De Mariahoeve in Rincom.

There is pneumonia in De Snippervlucht’s riding house in Doorwerth. Nasal pneumonia is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease. The Pension Fund was tightly closed. © Erik van ‘t Hullenaar

Most of the riding schools and pension stables in the Arnhem area have now taken precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus disease to their businesses. For example, customers, as well as feed companies and veterinarians, are asked not to show up for a while or to take extra hygiene measures (clean shoes, change of clothes) if they are in De Snippervlucht.

outbreak in valencia

Rhinovirus is common in horses, and sometimes has far-reaching consequences. The European equestrian world was turned upside down in March last year when a rhinovirus broke out during an equestrian competition in the Spanish city of Valencia. At least nine horses died of the disease.

For a while there was a ban on international competitions. And in February of this year, an outbreak of rhinovirus on a famous horse farm in the United States made the international press public when the viral disease spread there.

No notification requirements

There is great fear that the infectious disease will spread throughout the country. In the past year and a half, according to the Royal Netherlands Equestrian Sports Federation, the virus has been observed “in more places”. How often and where it is not recorded. Nor can the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA, animal disease supervisory authority) and the Royal GD/Animal Health Service. Nasal pneumonia is not a disease to report, so to speak.

“Not everything has been reported to us,” the Umbrella Equestrian Association of the Netherlands said. It happens that horse owners do not want to announce the discovery of a viral disease, for example, in their boarding house or riding school for fear of damaging their image. to inspect customers.

“Yes, of course it would be a disaster if something like this happened to you,” says Rick Stegen, owner of Stal Mansour in Arnhem (Schaarsbergen). I’ve had to deal with Drew’s disease in the past and I’ve also made it known to a wide circle. You have to be open and honest about it. I hope you get over it quickly.”

Pneumonia is caused by the equine herpes virus (EHV). It happens all over the world. Usually, according to the Animal Health Service, infection with this virus in a horse results in a common cold, with possible symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, loss of appetite, and swollen legs. Also, many infections are subclinical, which means that no obvious symptoms can be seen.

Abortion Form

However, nasal pneumonia has two other forms: the miscarriage form and the neurogenic form. These forms can be seen alongside the common cold, but they also occur suddenly without previous cold problems.

Almost every year in the Netherlands there are outbreaks of miscarriage or stillbirth, and sometimes there are outbreaks of neurological symptoms such as ataxia (walking like a drunk man) and paralysis. It’s not clear why some infections are more severe.

According to boarding house owner Van den Buren, the deceased horse on De Snippervlucht in Doorwerth had the neurogenic (type I) form of nasal pneumonia. The owner discovered that the horse was swaying. It can’t go straight anymore.”

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