Equine Infectious Anemia Detected in the U.K.

Equine infectious anemia (EIA) has been detected in a horse in Northumberland following importation from the Netherlands, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed today, Sept. 7.

The premises are currently under restriction and the infected horse will be humanely destroyed in line with existing regulations. The other horses on the premises are subject to epidemiological investigation.

The horse arrived in a group of six horses originating in the Netherlands, and all have been tested for EIA as part of routine post-import testing. The other five horses in the group have all tested negative.

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said: "This again shows the success of our post-import testing regime. These were apparently healthy horses carrying a notifiable disease that we are keen to keep out of Great Britain. After considering the risk I have decided to take appropriate action and humanely destroy this horse."

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease of horses that causes intermittent fever, anemia, emaciation, and death. It can be transmitted by the exchange of  blood by biting insects and occurs typically in low-lying swampy areas.

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