Contagious viral disease leads to suspension of imported horses from Malaysia to Singapore

People who may have come into contact with horses in Malaysia are advised to avoid visiting horse establishments in Singapore.
People who may have come into contact with horses in Malaysia are advised to avoid visiting horse establishments in Singapore.ST PHOTO: NABILAH SAID

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has suspended the import of horses from Malaysia due to an outbreak of equine influenza there.

The suspension took effect from last Sunday (Sept 6).

The AVA said that Singapore is free from the disease and that the suspension is to protect Singapore's horse population.

Equine influenza, a viral disease, is highly contagious among horses, said the AVA in a media statement released on Tuesday (Sept 8).

Horses suffering from the disease have symptoms that include fever, nasal discharge and dry cough. The disease is unlikely to cause death, and infected horses take between three weeks and six months to recover.

Equine influenza does not infect or cause disease in humans.

People who may have come into contact with horses in Malaysia, such as through horse riding activities or during farm stays, are advised to avoid visiting horse establishments in Singapore.

The AVA said that it will work closely with Malaysia's Department of Veterinary Services. The movement of horses between Singapore and Malaysia may resume once the outbreak is resolved.

byseow@sph.com.sg