Iowa horse owners are still making the decision whether to deal with the spread of West Nile virus by getting their animals vaccinated. Bill Paynter, president of the Iowa Horse Council, says he’s put it off himself. He owns four mules, and though he’s put off the inoculations, like a lot of owners, listening to the news has made him decide to get the shots — though Paynter points out the vaccine has only tentative approval but has been released for use because of the extent of this outbreak. His riding mules got their first shots last night (Wednesday). Paynter says it takes two visits by the vet.Three weeks apart, he says, and the series can cost 25 to 35 dollars or more depending on how much the vet charges. Paynter says the Horse Council is for owners of all kinds of equines, from racetrack winners to backyard saddle ponies. He says the agriculture department only counts horses on farms, and the many kept in backyards, acreages, and boarded by town folk fall through the cracks in the count. Paynter says he’s seen reports that there are 190-thousand horses in the state.
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