New Straits Times, May 11, 1999

"Anna and the King" Horses
To Be Checked

Screening for screen horses

IPOH, Mon. - All horses used in the filming of the 20th Century Fox Production's Anna and The King here will be screened for the Nipah virus as they were located in a high risk area.

Veterinary Research Institute director Dr Aziz Jamaluddin said blood samples of the horses were taken last week and had been sent to Kuala Lumpur.

"We do not want to exempt these animals when polo and equestrian horses here are required to undergo examination," he said.

Last week, it was reported that two horses involved in the movie died due to ingestion of herbicide.

The death of the horses were reported to the Veterinary Services Department and a veterinarian was brought in to determine the cause of death.

There are some 100 horses involved in the filming of the movie and most of them are locally supplied either by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, the police or belonged to individuals.

The horses are being kept in a stable at the Clearwater Sanctuary in Batu Gajah.

On April 28, Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Mohd Nordin Mohd Nor confirmed two horses at Iskandar Polo Club here had been tested positive for Nipah virus and had to be put down.

Blood samples of the remaining 47 horses were taken for a second test and pending the outcome, the club premises had been quarantined.

In another development, Dr Aziz said the VRI has set up a national swine surveillance centre for the Nipah virus to determine farms previously exposed to the virus.

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