EQUINE deaths in several parts of the state are being investigated by Agriculture Victoria.
First detected in a zone between Cranbourne and Mornington Peninsula, sudden fatalities have been confirmed in Ballarat and Shepparton.
Numerous veterinary clinics have reported deaths on their websites and social media, which authorities are treating as a ‘mystery’.
AV and veterinarians are working together to investigate the cause, with symptoms including temperatures above 40 degrees and sudden lethargy.
At this stage the prospect of the mysterious illness being contagious has not been made as numerous of the victims are said to have remained on the properties where they lived for at least six months.
A toxin in feed is another theory being considered, however, there are reports some horses were not fed hard feed, which all but rules out that possibility.
A statement on AV’s website reads: “Agriculture Victoria is working with private veterinarians to understand the cause of recent horse deaths in Victoria.”
No standardbred deaths have been reported at the time of writing, with trainers encouraged to contact their local vet in cases of sudden death and or any sudden onset of illness in their horses.