Sports

Two Kranji horses test positive for strangles

Two horses stabled at the Singapore Racecourse at Kranji have been tested positive for strangles, a contagious horse disease.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said last night that the disease, caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi subsp equi, was detected in two horses and both horses, as well as the in-contact horses, have been placed under isolation.

AVA added that testing for strangles is being conducted on the in-contact horses and suspect cases - horses that exhibit clinical signs suggestive of strangles - to assess the extent of its transmission.

Other disease control measures, in accordance with AVA's requirements, have since been implemented at the Singapore Turf Club (STC).

These include restricting visits to the affected stables by authorised personnel, ensuring disinfection facilities are in place, and recording the horses' temperature twice daily.

Strangles cannot be transmitted to humans.

ABUZZ

The disease is characterised by severe inflammation of the mucosa of the head and throat, with extensive swelling and often rupture of the lymph nodes, which produce large amounts of thick pus.

Last Thursday, the local racing circle was abuzz with news of a viral infection affecting trainer Theo Kieser's stable after the STC scratched all of the trainer's horses from competing last night and tomorrow by order of the stewards.

Of the two horses detected for strangles, it is understood that one of them is from Kieser's stable and the other from another yard.

It is understood that more than 50 horses who had come into contact with the affected horses have been isolated at the quarantine stables as a precautionary measure.

The last strangles scare happened in September 2010, when two of trainer Brian Dean's horses showed symptoms of strangles.

Both horses were isolated and AVA tested one of them positive for the disease. Horses from two other nearby stables were also isolated as a precaution.

The horse recovered and cleared for racing.