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(Des Moines)— Due to the abundance of rain that fell over Iowa this spring, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging area horse owners to protect their animals from the West Nile Virus by making sure their horses are vaccinated and that the vaccination is up to date.

Northey says “as we enter the mosquito season, it is important for horse owners to vaccinate their animals so that they are protected from West Nile Virus.  In 2011 Iowa had only one confirmed case and last year 36 confirmed cases were reported in horses.

In most cases the animals had not had any vaccinations and in a few of those cases only had their first dose of vaccine.