(a) What are the characteristics of and risks associated with African horse sickness for equine owners in the province, (b)(i) what measures can owners take to protect their horses from African horse sickness and (ii) to what extent has a shortages of vaccines been experienced over the last few years and (c)(i) which entity has provided the bulk of vaccines against horse sickness in the past and (ii) what is this entity’s relationship with the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development?
THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE:
15. Mr A P van der Westhuizen to ask Dr I H Meyer, Minister of Agriculture:
(a) Signs of African horse sickness may include:
- Swelling and redness around the eyes and elsewhere on the face
- Frothing and discharge from nostrils
- Slow and heavy breathing
- Swollen face
- Introduction of AHS incubating horses from African Horse Sickness (AHS)endemic/infected areas of South Africa (where there is absence of active investigation and restrictions when outbreaks of AHS occur) to the AHS Controlled and Free zone.
- Vaccinating at the wrong times of the year – vaccination is recommended to be done between June and October.
- Vaccine handling and following of vaccination guidelines.
- (i) Owners are usually urged to:
- stable their horses overnight or move to high-lying areas if possible, from 2 hours before sunset until 2 hours after sunrise while the midges are active.
- to ensure all horses are correctly vaccinated, especially if they are in high-risk areas and not stabled.
- ensure horses are also treated with insect repellents daily.
- obtain permission for all movements from their local State and Private veterinarians, and to ensure that the movement is approved by the State Veterinarian Boland, if it is into the Western Cape.
- not move horses into the Western Cape AHS Controlled Area unless it is absolutely essential and has been arranged in advance with the State Veterinarian, Boland.
(ii) There has been sporadic shortages of vaccines during critical periods when owners had to vaccinate their animals whilst they could not procure vaccines as suppliers had no stock.
- (i) Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP)
(ii) Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) is the State Owned Enterprise (SOE) that is attached to Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).