African Horse Sickness Control Policy
African horse sickness (AHS) is a highly infectious and deadly disease of Equidae (horses, donkeys, mules and zebra) caused by African Horse Sickness virus which is a virus of the genus Orbivirus belonging to the family Reoviridae. AHS is not directly contagious, but is spread by the Culicoides midge.
South Africa is endemic for AHS which means that it commonly occurs throughout the country. The Western Cape contains the only AHS free zone in the country and therefore the only place that horse exports can take place from. As a result of this AHS control is strictly regulated in this province