Yesterday, Oaklawn became the first horseracing track in the nation to ban the shipment of horses from Louisiana race tracks, an attempt to stem the potential spread of the equine herpes virus. A horse at New Orleans' Fair Grounds racetrack tested positive for the disease on Dec. 24.
The equine herpes virus can cause a host of problems for horses, including causing mares to abort, respiratory illness and neuro-muscular failure. In its most deadly and virulient form, the disease can lead to peracute pulmonary vasculitis, a lung disease which can kill an adult horse in 24 hours.
Oaklawn's ban was quickly picked up by the Texas Racing Commission, and other tracks are considering similar action.