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Contact: Dan Ng, (435) 834-4740
Due to the recent outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1) in northern Utah, the State Veterinarian advises that precautions should be taken to control the spread of the disease. Therefore restrictions to the use of private horses and mules in the park, first implemented on May 20th, will be extended: Bryce Canyon National Park is closed to the entry and use of private horses and mules for recreational riding through June 4, 2011. This closure may be extended if conditions warrant.
Equine herpes virus is a common DNA virus that occurs in horse populations worldwide. EHV-1 causes abortion, respiratory disease and neurological disease in these animals. Animals under stress are more susceptible to the symptoms of the virus. The disease is not transmissible to humans or animals other than equine (horses, mules, burros) or camelid (llamas, alpacas, camels) species.
Most horse owners are aware on the need to confine movements of equine animals during this time. A measure of caution is appropriate to protect the horses and mules of the park's concessionaire, Canyon Trail Rides, from potential spread of the virus.
Canyon Trail Rides continues to offer two 2-hour and two ½-day guided horse rides each day. Experiencing Bryce Canyon on horseback is a popular activity and continues the tradition which dates back to the 1930's. For more information call 435-679-8665 or visit: www.canyonrides.com.
For more information on Bryce Canyon National Park, please visit the park's website at: www.nps.gov/brca or call 435-834-5322.