Florida Piroplasmosis: Canada Changes Horse Import Rules

Florida agriculture officials are continuing to investigate cases of equine piroplasmosis in the state. According to a statement released Oct. 10 by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOACS), the source of the infection has been determined and the exposed animals are under state quarantine. There have been no new positive animals detected since Sept. 17 and the remaining five positive horses are located on one premises.

The DOACS indicated that transmission of the organism is still believed to have resulted from management practices and not naturally via ticks. Despite extensive tick surveillance, no exotic ticks have been identified. Approximately 50 Dermacentor variabilis ticks, which have been shown to be experimental vectors for the organism, have been tested and found to be negative for piroplasmosis.

Due to the apparent containment of the equine piroplasmosis situation, Canada has now revised their import requirements for horses from Florida. Horses exporting to Canada from the State of Florida must meet the following additional requirements:

  • An Import permit (for the Canadian importer)
  • The horse(s) are inspected by a veterinarian within fifteen (15) days preceding the date of importation;
  • Certification statements on the export health certificate:
  • The horse(s) have not been on a premises where equine piroplasmosis (clinical or serology) has occurred during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation to Canada, nor has this disease occurred on any adjoining premises during the same period of time.
  • They must have tested negative using a cELISA test or, where applicable, an alternate test acceptable to CFIA for equine piroplasmosis, during the fifteen (15) days prior to the date of importation into Canada.

Canada has also asked for additional certification for equines from other states, for all certificates issued after Sept.15, 2008:

"During the previous twenty-one (21) days, the animal(s) in this shipment has/have not been in the state of Florida"

Read more about the piroplasmosis investigation.

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