Kentucky Department of AgricultureJames R. ComerCommissioner of Agriculture111 Corporate DriveFrankfort, KY 40601Phone: (502) 573-0450FAX: (502) 573-0046www.kyagr.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWednesday, March 28, 2012For more information contact:Holly VonLuehrte(502) 573-0450
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Today, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer issued a warning that weather conditions are ripe for an outbreak of West Nile Virus and cited State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout’s advice that Kentucky equine owners should consult their veterinarians about vaccinating their horses against the disease.“While we do not wish to cause unnecessary alarm, we are concerned about the equine population’s vulnerability to this potentially deadly disease,” said Commissioner Comer. “I am confident that Kentucky’s equine owners will act in the best interests of their horses and seek guidance on vaccinations.” West Nile is spread by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes thrive in the warm, wet conditions Kentucky has experienced in the last few weeks. No horse in Kentucky that has undergone a full West Nile vaccination regimen is known to have contracted the virus since 2003, according to Dr. Stout. West Nile was first discovered in Kentucky in 2001, and Kentucky experienced 513 equine cases of the disease in 2002 and 102 cases in 2003. Kentucky recorded one equine case in 2011, in Fleming County. West Nile Virus causes encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, in horses, humans, birds, and other warm-blooded animals. It is transmitted by mosquitoes that acquire it from infected birds. Humans and equine cannot transmit the disease. It was first discovered in the United States in 1999 in New York.
For the benefit of Kentucky's horses,
free gelding surgeries will be offered at the Kentucky Horse Park on Saturday, March 10, 2012.
This free clinic is being provided by the Kentucky Horse Park in partnership with the Kentucky Horse Council's Save Our Horses fund and the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition.
The free gelding surgeries are open to any equine owner who is financially unable to afford the surgeries. Castrations will be performed by a veterinarian or a veterinary student under close supervision by a licensed veterinarian. Stallions must be halter broke, in good health, with two descended testicles and be at least four months of age, with current Coggins and health certificate.
Applications are now being accepted. A $20 registration fee will be charged per horse. Surgeries by appointment only.
Information and registration forms: Gelding_Clinic_2012_forms.pdf
If you need additional information please contact Sheila Forbes, 859-233-4305 or
Illustration (c) Chris Ware.