January 25, 2011

Agriculture Officials Take Action to Limit Spread of Equine Disease

The Missouri Department of Agriculture's Division of Animal Health confirmed positive test results for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in two horses earlier this month in northeastern Missouri. Department officials have tested 696 other horses, including those located nearby and any that may have been in contact with the infected animals. No further positive cases have been identified.

On Jan. 5, 2011, a Belgian horse in rural Pike County tested positive for EIA. The animal was immediately quarantined, and humanely euthanized following additional testing in mid-January. A second horse on the farm also tested positive for EIA on Jan. 7, 2011. That horse was humanely euthanized, as well.

"Although this disease does not affect humans, it is a disease that can have a devastating impact on our equine industry," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "We will continue to closely monitor the situation and remind horse owners to schedule regular Coggins tests with their veterinarian to screen for this disease."

EIA is a contagious, viral disease most commonly transmitted through horse flies, deer flies, mosquitoes and gnats. The disease is found in Equine species, including horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, but does not affect humans. There are no known vaccines available to prevent or protect from this disease.

Individuals with questions or concerns about the safety of their livestock following these actions are encouraged to contact the Department with their questions at (573) 751-3377.

For more information regarding the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit mda.mo.gov.