On 20 April, Axiom Veterinary Laboratories confirmed an outbreak of EHV-1 abortion and neurological disease on a non-Thoroughbred premises in Devon.
The initial cases presented with respiratory signs and one unvaccinated mare was confirmed positive for EHV-1 by PCR on a nasopharyngeal swab. Within this group, there have subsequently been three horses with neurological signs and one of these required euthanasia due to the severity of the signs. There is a separate group of vaccinated non-Thoroughbred in-foal mares on the premises and the first mare due to foal in this group foaled one week late with a red-bag presentation. A live foal was delivered but subsequently died at four-hours-old and was confirmed positive for EHV-1 by PCR on tissues and the dam was also confirmed positive for EHV-1 by PCR on a nasopharyngeal swab. The HBLB International Codes of Practice have been implemented (https://codes.hblb.org.uk/index.php/page/32) and control measures include; voluntary movement restrictions, reduction of group sizes and strict hygiene.