EHV-1 is the official acronym for the equine herpes virus that has severely curtailed the activities of the horse industry just as it moves into its busy show season. The economic impacts are significant.
Still, the horses attending a recent cutting event in Ogden, UT, where the outbreak occurred, were easily traced, thanks to entries and records. And, the number of horses potentially affected is miniscule when compared to a possible disease or viral risk in the cattle industry. As long as someone doesn’t expose a whole different potential population, the disease will likely be controlled within a couple of weeks.
Just imagine a similar disease popping up in one of our major sale barns. Given the typical movement patterns of animals and the sheer number of animals moving, we could see a situation in the cattle industry spiral out of control in just a matter of days.
It’s therefore no surprise that this health event in the horse industry has made livestock traceability a top-of-mind concern once again.