KTOB Asks for State Investigation of Strangles Outbreak

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders sent a letter to Gov. Ernie Fletcher April 8 requesting a state investigation regarding the equine bacterial disease strangles and its recent spread from Kentucky to Florida and then back.

The letter raises concerns over whether proper procedures were followed regarding documentation, examination of horses before transport to other states, proper movement of infected or potentially infected horses, and other procedures with respect to Kentucky regulations. The KTOB also questioned whether health certificates were properly filed with the state veterinarian's office.

"We believe the seriousness of this matter warrants a state investigation," the letter stated. "We would like to determine if there was any intentional disregard or intentional mishandling of the infected animals that could have prevented the spread of this disease."

The letter also addresses whether new procedures could be put in place to prevent similar situations and said owners and trainers have been financially hurt, through no fault of their own, but by actions that were not followed.