USDA Proposes To Amend Horse Quarantine Regulations

The USDA is proposing to require that all horses classified as reactors for equine infectious anemia (EIA) must be quarantined at all times at least 200 yards from healthy horses at livestock facilities under state or federal veterinary supervision.

"This proposal is part of our continuing effort to prevent the interstate spread of this serious disease," said Joan M. Arnoldi, deputy administrator for veterinary services with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a part of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area.

Current regulations require regulated livestock facilities to place any EIA-reactor horse in a quarantined pen at least 200 yards from healthy horses, unless the reactor horse will be leaving the facility within 24 hours of arrival. The proposed rule would prohibit the intermingling of EIA-reactor horses and healthy horses for any period of time at these facilities.

EIA is a contagious, potentially fatal viral disease affecting equines, including horses, asses, mules, ponies, and zebras. It is generally spread by horse flies. About 1,600 horses in the United States test positive for EIA each year.

This proposed rule was scheduled for publication in the Jan. 27, 1998 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before March 30, 1998. An original and three copies of comments should be sent to Docket No. 97-099-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.

Comments may be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons wishing to review comments are requested to call ahead at 202/690-2817 to facilitate entry into the comment reading room.

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