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Department confirms additional cases of Equine Infectious Anaemia

The Department of Agriculture and Food today indicated that test results received last evening had confirmed an additional three cases of Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA) in horses that had been identified as high-risk horses because of their contact with earlier positive cases.

Commenting on the results, the Department noted that the new cases didn't come as any surprise. They were all related to last weekend's four cases and earlier cases and their confirmation does not change the current situation.

Arising from the cases confirmed, the Department has restricted thirteen individual premises as well a further 280 individual horses, whose premises are not restricted. The premises associated with yesterday's cases had previously been restricted as a result of their association with cases confirmed last weekend.

The Department is continuing to identify and trace all in-contact horses and has received in excess of 2,300 test results which hadn't identified any more than the twelve cases. The Department expressed appreciation for the work done by the staff of the Irish Equine Centre over the past month in ensuring an expeditious throughput of samples. The Department valued the assistance provided by the IEC at this time.

The Department is imposing an onerous testing regime on restricted horses, particularly those identified as being high-risk because of their close contact with positive cases but such an approach was an essential part of containing this outbreak and was in the interests of all concerned with the Irish bloodstock industry.

In view of the testing regime being imposed, the Department would, with immediate effect, make a contribution towards the costs of sampling, and pay for the testing of samples where testing is required by the Department as a consequence of a premises and/or horse being restricted. Details of the financial support being put in place will be announced separately.

27 July, 2006

Date Released: 27 July 2006