Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx horse owners warned after outbreak of strangles

Horse
Image caption Strangles is a highly contagious disease

Isle of Man horse owners have been warned not to be "complacent" amid an outbreak of strangles, an animal charity has said.

Two cases of the contagious respiratory disease were confirmed in Glen Maye on the west of the island last week.

MSPCA manager Juana Warburton said owners must "remain vigilant" to ensure it does not spread.

The government said the outbreak was "under control" but it was "keeping a watching brief" on it.

Owners are not obliged to inform the government if a horse is infected.

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway has announced it has put a "zero contact" policy in place with its horses until the outbreak is eliminated.

An event close to where the outbreak occurred, which was due to happen last weekend, was also cancelled.

Strangles, also known as equine distemper, is a contagious bacterial disease that affects the upper respiratory tract of horses, ponies and donkeys.

Vet Ray Cox said the disease was likely to have been brought in from off the island.

All horses arriving on the Isle of Man, either for the first time or following a trip abroad, must be put into quarantine for 14 days.

Mr Cox advised that quarantined horses must be kept at least 10 metres apart and there should be "no direct contact".

He added that those in contact with horses should consider their "every action" and there needed to be a "disinfectant process to break the contagion".

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