Question for Animal Arts
I enjoy reading your articles. I know you work with horse farms, veterinary clinics, and other animal facilities.
On our boarding farm, how can we build a quarantine "facility" to keep new or returning horses (from shows) apart from other horses? What is needed?
We have a 20-horse barn and several individual paddocks and fields, but nothing that is totally separate. How can we create a good space for these horses (sometimes two or three at a time)?
Answer from Animal Arts
Good for you to consider the idea of quarantine before any issues arise that force the requirement. Thinking of quarantine is especially important after the EHV-1 outbreaks that were passed around several large show grounds over the last few summers. It’s always good to plan ahead. Several barns here in Colorado were on full quarantine for months because they were not set up to properly segregate.
To begin, even though this is not a facility guideline, be sure all horses are up-to-date on vaccinations and Coggin's testing.
The best guidelines for biosecurity are produced by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. They publish a biosecurity guideline and a guideline for special events. Here is a link to the overall guidelines.
If you truly want to isolate horses coming and going from events, they need to be separated from other horse by a distance of 60 feet, and they truly need to be separated. A small isolation barn can be used for this purpose, as these horses ideally should not be housed in the main barn.