Ireland Lifts Final EIA Movement Restrictions

Ireland's Department of Agriculture and Food on March 21 lifted all movement restrictions still in place due to the outbreak of equine infectious anemia (EIA) that started last summer and claimed 28 horses. The last case was confirmed December 10, 2006.

Read a statement released by the Department here.

As a result of the outbreak, the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association has amended their Codes of Practice to include mandatory Coggins testing for every mare within 28 days of transport to breeding or foaling facilities. Additionally, the department is reiterating the importance of veterinarians maintaining strict hygiene standards, and that potentially contaminated materials must be properly disposed of or autoclaved.

The Irish Equine Centre and the Department's Central Veterinary Research Laboratory processed more than 57,000 blood samples, and more than 1,200 horses on 53 premises were under movement restrictions during the outbreak.

Officials are continuing to investigate the source of the outbreak.

"The Department is continuing to progress its epidemiological investigation into the circumstances in which the disease was first introduced into the country, as part of which officials from the Department have traveled overseas to consult with international colleagues," the statement reported. "This investigation is a comprehensive one and an extensive amount of information has been gathered. This information is currently being assessed. It is not possible, at this stage, to say when the investigation will be concluded, other than to say that it remains the Department's position that, if sufficient evidence is gathered to support a prosecution, the Department will seek to have the case prosecuted through the Courts. Because of the nature of the investigation, the Department is not in a position to comment any further on its progress at this stage."

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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