BLM suspends adoptions, visits to Litchfield corrals due to strangles outbreak

File image of horses
File image of horses(The Bureau of Land Management)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 12:05 PM PDT
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SUSANVILLE, California (KOLO) - The Bureau of Land Management has suspended adoptions and public visitation to the Litchfield corrals due to an outbreak of a bacterial infection known as strangles.

The infection was detected in a small number of horses within a single large pen.

BLM estimates the corrals will be closed for 30 days. No animals will be accepted into the facility or released for adoptions or sales until the infections subside and no additional cases are detected.

“This disease is highly contagious among horses,” said Emily Ryan, manager of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office which oversees the corrals. “Because it is so easily spread, we need to close the facility to the public to prevent people accidently spreading strangles to their own horses after visiting our corrals.”

Affected horses will be isolated in a large holding area at the corrals until the disease runs its course. BLM will be consulting closely with a veterinarian to determine the best time to reopen the corrals.

Strangles affects the upper respiratory tract of horses. It produces nasal discharge, fever, and swollen lymph nodes around the throat. In most cases, the disease runs its course in two to four weeks.