- 25 Feb 2020
Dourine affects horses, donkeys, mules, zebras and other members of the equid family. It does not affect humans.
The main symptoms are:
- swelling of genital areas or udders and the surrounding skin
- fluid discharge from genitals (in mares)
- lesions or damage to the skin
- stiffness and weakness
- lack of coordination
- inability to move
Dourine is often fatal, although some animals show no signs and recover from the disease.
How dourine is spread
Dourine spreads through sexual contact.
The disease is caused by a parasite which cannot survive outside the animal’s body. The parasite dies quickly in the carcass of affected animals.
Human health implications
There are no human health implications because the disease is not zoonotic.
How to control the disease
If dourine is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.
The main legislation relating to the control of dourine is the Infectious Diseases of Horses Order 1987.
The Government's policy on disease control is that prevention is better than cure. This approach works by reducing the chances of a disease entering the animal population, and if it does then it can be quickly spotted and dealt with through the preventative measures.
Biosecurity is about being aware of the ways disease can spread, and taking every practical measure to minimise the risk of disease spreading.
If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.