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New case of Equine Infectious Anaemia

The Department of Agriculture and Food today confirmed the 26th case of Equine Infectious Anaemia in Ireland in horse from a farm in Co Meath. The premises in question has been placed under restriction.

The case was confirmed by the Department's Central Veterinary Research Laboratory following tests on a sample taken from a horse as part of the extended surveillance programme being undertaken by the Department in the Meath/Nth Kildare/Nth Dublin area. The circumstances in which this horse contracted EIA are currently under investigation and all likely sources of infection are being pursued, including the possibility of any veterinary treatment linkages.

This extended surveillance programme is focused on a particular population of over 3000 horses identified by the Department for testing on a risk-assessment basis. To-date some 1500 horses have been sampled and the case today is the first case of EIA to be confirmed in this target group of horses and the first to be confirmed anywhere since September 29th.

Given that this latest case was in a horse which had been targeted for testing by the Department, the confirmation of a positive result is not particularly surprising. This case does, however, re-emphasise the need for horse owners/trainers to be vigilant and, in the case of any horse that shows any clinical symptoms suggestive of EIA, to contact their private veterinary practitioners and have arrangements made to have samples taken and analysed for the disease.

26 October, 2006

Date Released: 26 October 2006