Tests confirm equine flu in Indian province

April 14, 2009

The deaths of four horses in police stables in Ahmedabad, in India, were caused by equine influenza, testing has revealed.

The state of Gujarat was yesterday expected to place restrictions on horse movements in a bid to control the spread of the highly contagious disease.

The testing of samples from the horses were carried out by the National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE).

The Times of India reports that 12 of 38 horses in the police stables were affected by the disease, which was last seen in the state in 1988.

India suffered problems with equine influenza in an outbreak last year.

Late last year the country reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that nearly 18,000 horses had contracted the disease and 16 had died.

It said the outbreak had occurred in Jammu and Kashmir, the country's northernmost state.

The report put the date of the first outbreak, in the village of Katra, at June 20 and the second, centred on the village of Anantnag, as beginning on July 7. Both villages are close to the Pakistan border.

The report said several other districts were affected: Budgam, Pulwama, Srinagar, Kupwara, Baramula.