animal agriculture

Protecting Horses Against West Nile Virus

Dan Equine, Livestock, This Land of Ours

Protecting Horses Against West Nile Virus. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

west nile virus

Since 1999, more than 25,000 cases of West Nile Virus encephalitis have been reported in horses, according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

Department Head for Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Justin Talley, says West Nile Virus is spread by the Culex mosquito. He says the biggest challenge is that in addition to feeding on horses, they also feed on birds, which is why they’re good at transmitting the virus to horses. The number of cases is difficult to predict every year and will vary based on bird populations. Talley says there are more mosquitoes in late summer or the fall, so the chances can improve greatly from the summer. Moving air plays a big part in mosquito control. Talley says to get the air moving around horses because mosquitoes are weak fliers. He also reminds horse owners to keep the animals current on vaccinations and to keep the barn clean by removing standing water.

Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s This Land of Ours program here.

Protecting Horses Against West Nile Virus

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.