Update: Clean Bill Of Health For EIA-Positive Mustang Foals

Eleven Mustang foals taken to Oklahoma State University last summer when they tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA) now have tested negative. A temporary restraining order filed by the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had allowed the foals to be quarantined and re-tested when their dams were found infected and ordered to be euthanized. The EIA-positive horses were discovered on BLM land in Utah near Ute Nation tribal land. A total of 84 out of 163 horses in the herd tested positive for EIA.

All of the adult Mustangs that tested positive for EIA were euthanized. There was concern over the 11 foals which test positive since it was believed the animals weren't necessarily infected with EIA, but rather they tested positive due to EIA antibodies they received from their dams' milk. The foals were taken to Oklahoma State University for further observation to determine their EIA status. As it turns out, all 11 foals were carrying the EIA antibody due to maternal antibodies and were not infected with the EIA virus.

While they will never again roam free on the range, these foals are free of EIA. Still property of the BLM, the foals are scheduled to go up for adoption in April.

(See The Horse of August 1998 for a feature on EIA that includes the original story on the EIA Mustang foals. You also can access this article on-line at www.thehorse.com/0898/eia0898.html.)

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