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Singapore halts horses import from Malaysia to protect them from influenza

Staff writer |
Singapore has suspended the import of horses from Malaysia to protect its horse population, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said.

The suspension, which takes effect on Tuesday, is due to an outbreak of equine influenza (EI), a highly contagious viral disease in horses in its neighbor.

Singapore is free from EI, which can have devastating effects on the horse industry, AVA therefore advises the public who may have come into contact with horses in Malaysia to avoid visiting horse establishments in Singapore.

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

Equine influenza is a highly contagious viral disease in horses. Clinical signs include fever, nasal discharge, swollen mandibular lymph nodes, dry cough, poor appetite and lethargy.

The disease is unlikely to cause death and infected horses recover in three weeks to six months, depending on the severity of infection. EI does not infect or cause disease in humans.

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