New Zealand Declared EIA-Free

New Zealand has been declared free of equine infectious anemia after a recent mishap allowed an EIA positive horse into the country from Australia. On May 24 an EIA positive broodmare was imported to the Waikato region, North Island, New Zealand.

The horse was allowed entry after Australia's Animal Quarantine Inspection Services mixed up blood tests and declared the EIA positive mare negative. AQIS reported to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of New Zealand that a mix up of samples occurred in the Australian laboratory, which allowed the mishap to take place.

On June 6 the index case was confirmed positive and was euthanized on June 8. According to the MAF, “Trace-back established 11 horses had direct or indirect contact with the imported case. The horses were on four separate properties following movements of horses in the same consignment as the imported case. Movement restrictions were imposed on all four properties, and the in-contact horses were isolated and received daily treatment with prophylactic insecticide sprays. Insect trapping early in the isolation period indicated Stomoxys calcitrans (the only likely vector in New Zealand) was present, but in very low number.”

All quarantined horses were tested for EIA using the AGID (Coggins) test initially, again after 30 days, and for the final time after 60 days. The quarantine period was planned to last 45 days, but was extended to 60 days on the advice of experts on EIA.

Testing completed at 60 days revealed negative results and all in-contact horses and premises were released from quarantine. New Zealand is once again considered EIA-free.

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