A horse in Monmouth County was euthanized after contracting the neurological form of an infectious virus, prompting trainers to quarantine other horses, officials said.
The 18-year-old mare was euthanized Wednesday after it contracted equine herpes myeloencephalopathy, the state Department of Agriculture announced on Sunday.
“The department took swift action to prevent the disease from spreading to other horses by enacting a quarantine, which stops movement of horses in and out of the property and puts in place preventive measures to contain the virus,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher said in a statement.
The virus is extremely contagious and hops from horse to horse quickly. When infected, horses can experience severe symptoms that include respiratory problems, spontaneous abortions and even death.
The virus spreads through contact with infected materials, the statement said. Humans and other domestic animals are not affected by the virus. Llamas and alpaca are susceptible.