Responding to the presence of the bacterial infection strangles among racehorses in Florida, the California Horse Racing Board, in conjunction with the state's racetracks, has established a policy setting health requirements for horses being shipped from Florida to California.The policy requires statements from veterinarians issuing health certificates/travel documents that horses in their care have not been exposed to strangles nor shown signs of the upper respiratory infection. As an additional precaution, the rectal temperature must be recorded on the health certificate of each horse signed by the veterinarian.Dr. Ron Jensen, the CHRB equine medical director, and assistant executive director Roy Minami sent a memo Friday to official veterinarians, CHRB stewards, California racetracks and approved training centers, and horsemen's organizations, spelling out the policy.
They wrote, "Effective immediately, all horses traveling from Florida to California racetracks and CHRB regulated training centers must have the following statement on their health certificate signed by the veterinarian issuing the health certificate:"The horse(s) represented on this health certificate has/have not originated from a barn or premises under quarantine for strangles, nor has/have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of strangles, nor has/have shown signs suggestive of strangles, nor have been febrile within the previous three weeks."The health certificate should be prepared, dated, and signed within two days of shipment and the rectal temperature must be recorded on the health certificate."