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81 horses culled on Turkish island amid disease outbreak

December 19, 2019 GMT
FILE - In this Saturday, July 21, 2018 file photo, a man rides a horse cart with tourists in Buyukada, the largest and most popular of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul. Local authorities announced Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, that they have culled 81 horses on the island following an outbreak of a deadly equine disease. A quarantine has been put into place, barring the entry and exit of animals on the island to prevent the disease's spread. Most of the horses on Buyukada are used to pull carriages as motor vehicles are banned on the island. The outbreaks come as Turkey is considering banning the horse-drawn carriages on Buyukada, following reports that dozens of horses were killed as a result of cruelty or abuse by owners.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
FILE - In this Saturday, July 21, 2018 file photo, a man rides a horse cart with tourists in Buyukada, the largest and most popular of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul. Local authorities announced Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, that they have culled 81 horses on the island following an outbreak of a deadly equine disease. A quarantine has been put into place, barring the entry and exit of animals on the island to prevent the disease's spread. Most of the horses on Buyukada are used to pull carriages as motor vehicles are banned on the island. The outbreaks come as Turkey is considering banning the horse-drawn carriages on Buyukada, following reports that dozens of horses were killed as a result of cruelty or abuse by owners.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

ISTANBUL (AP) — Authorities have culled 81 horses on an island off Istanbul following an outbreak of a fatal equine disease, local officials said Thursday.

The local administrator’s office said the horses on Buyukada Island were slaughtered after being diagnosed with glanders disease, which also affects donkeys and mules.

A quarantine has been put into place, barring the entry and exit of animals on the island to prevent the disease from spreading, the office said.

Erdem Gul, mayor for the Princes’ Islands, told HaberTurk television that no human had been affected by the outbreak.

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Most of the horses on Buyukada are used to pull carriages since motor vehicles are banned on the island. The main form of transportation is horse-drawn coaches, which are popular with tourists.

Turkey is considering banning the horse-drawn carriages following reports that dozens of horses died from cruel treatment by their owners.

Buyukada is the largest and most popular among the nine small islands in the Sea of Marmara known collectively as the Princes’ Islands. Its population soars with tourists in the summer months.