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Quarantine, Shipping Ban Lifted at Mahoning Valley In Ohio
Ohio Ag Connection - 02/21/2020

The Ohio Department of Agriculture's (ODA) Division of Animal Health gave Mahoning Valley Race Course approval to lift a quarantine in one of its barns and once again permit the shipment of horses into and out of the Youngstown facility.

Barn 5 at Mahoning Valley was quarantined last weekend after an initial serum neutralization test came up positive for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) in a horse that showed mild symptoms of the highly contagious disease, including fever and ataxia.

One day later, the same horse tested negative through a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab. Additional horses who may have had exposure to the subject horse all tested negative.

Dr. Tony Forshey, chief veterinarian for ODA, waited an additional week to re-test the subject horse and six others, and on Thursday all tests proved negative.

"As far as we are concerned, we have no issue with horses coming in and returning to wherever their initial location is," Mark Loewe, vice president of racing operations for Mahoning Valley, said on Thursday afternoon.

On Feb. 14, the day the quarantine was put in place, Kentucky's state veterinarian put a hold on all horses shipping to Kentucky racetracks and training centers from Mahoning Valley. Loewe said he expected the Ohio Department of Agriculture would notify Kentucky officials the quarantine has been lifted.

Mahoning Valley depends on a significant percentage of shippers from Kentucky to fill their cards. Fifty horses who prior to the quarantine had been entered over two race days were scratched after the shipping ban was put in place.

Mahoning Valley races on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday schedule. Entries for Tuesday's program will be drawn on Friday.

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