Kaduna State Government at the weekend had placed 18 horses under quarantine following an outbreak of Equine Influenza also known as Horse Flu in parts of the state.
Manzo Daniel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, while confirming the outbreak to journalists in Kaduna, said the affected horses have been quarantined in Igabi and Zaria local government areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Igabi and Zaria local governments are homes to thousands of horses used for Polo Games and for Durbar Race during Sallah by the Zazzau Emirate.
Veterinary experts said the outbreak might endanger thousands of horses usually assembled from different countries for the famous Kaduna International Polo Competition.
The competition attracts Polo Clubs with hundreds of Horses from Brazil, the UK and South Africa as well as indigenous clubs from Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Bauchi, Katisa and Niger states.
Daniel said: “The Kaduna state government in its effort to reduce the spread of the disease has quarantined and isolated the 18 affected horses from infecting others.
“Blood samples have been taken by the veterinary department to ascertain the nature and cause of the disease,” Mr Daniel said
Equine Influenza is a highly contagious and fatal respiratory disease of horses, donkeys and mules caused by strains of influenza.
Clinical signs of Equine Influenza include fever and a harsh dry cough followed by a nasal discharge.
The disease causes depression, loss of appetite, muscle pain and weakness to affected horses and donkeys.
While most affected animals recover within two weeks, the cough may continue longer and it may take as much as six months for some horses to regain their full ability.
Meanwhile, the commissioner said the State government had inaugurated campaign to control the Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia (CBPP), a lung infection outbreak that was earlier reported in the state.
The commissioner said the disease had infected 1,850 cows and had so far killed 367 herds in parts of the state.
Daniel said that the State government had procured vaccines and drugs for the treatment of the affected herds in parts of Kagarko, Kauru, Chikun, Giwa and Lere local governments.
“This kind of outbreak is viral in nature and cannot be treated completely but can only be managed and in the process, you can save a number of the animals from dying.
“Blood samples of both outbreaks which were taken to the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau for thorough investigation have been confirmed.
“Vaccines have been consigned for the CBPP, while we await the result of Equine Influenza,” he said.
The commissioner called on pastoralists to cooperate with veterinary doctors and other specialists who would vaccinate the animals to curtail spread.
He said the treatment had commenced at Babban Saura community in Chikun Local Government, where the first case of the CBPP was reported.