New Equine Infectious Anaemia case in UK confirms increasing threat to horse population

World Horse Welfare is very concerned to learn of a second case of Equine Infectious Anaemia (Swamp Fever) in the UK this month.

New Equine Infectious Anaemia case in UK confirms increasing threat to horse population

This case, in Devon, follows that of a horse in Northumberland which was put down last week following a positive diagnosis.

According to Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the case was detected after the owner requested a private vet to examine a sick horse. The horse had been in this country for two years and only became ill very recently. The premises are currently under restriction and the infected horse has been put down in line with existing regulations. The other two horses on the premises are being tested for evidence of infection. The investigation into the origin of the case is ongoing.

At present Defra is not linking this case in Devon with the case in Northumberland, which was detected as part of routine post-import testing following the horse’s arrival from the Netherlands. The investigation into this case is also ongoing. World Horse Welfare’s Chief Executive Roly Owers said: “This case highlights the growing threat of disease to the UK horse population. However it is very encouraging to hear that the case was reported by the owner’s vet. We all need to be vigilant to keep our horses healthy and free from disease.”

World Horse Welfare has created a ‘Keeping your horse healthy’ pack designed to help horse owners recognise the symptoms of a number of diseases, take practical steps to protect their horse(s), and find out more about both common conditions (e.g. Strangles, Equine Influenza, Ringworm) and notifiable ones such as EIA. These free packs are available to horse owners, livery yards, veterinary practices and anyone working with horses. They can be requested by calling the charity on 01953 497232 or by sending an email to campaigns@worldhorsewelfare.org.

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