Mississippi and Louisiana are among more than a dozen states participating in a new interstate travel permit for horse events.
Officials say the Equine Interstate Event Permit allows horses and their owners to travel to events in participating states for six months. The permit can be used in lieu of a 30-day certificate of veterinary inspection.
The permit can be obtained from an accredited veterinarian.
Louisiana's agriculture commissioner says any horse coming into Louisiana from Illinois must have a health certificate showing that it has not been at Hawthorne Race Course in the past 30 days because nearly 70 horses there have tested positive for a very contagious and potentially lethal virus.
The Department of Agriculture and Forestry quotes Stanley Seeling, president of the Louisiana Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association, as saying horses typically travel from Hawthorne Race Course to Louisiana for the winter races.