There were four positive cases of equine infectious anemia in 2016 in the state of Kansas, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This year, the number has reached nine. EIA is a blood-borne disease with no cure or vaccine.
Justin Smith, Kansas animal health commissioner, assured southwest Kansas horse owners, Sept. 18, at a public meeting in Garden City, state officials are working to find more positive cases and make owners aware of signs of the disease. Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health was first notified in August of a positive EIA horse in Finney County found during routine testing.
“We quarantined the horse as well as the facility that horse was on. We then tested all the horses that were on that facility at that point in time,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, we found five additional positive EIA horses and we found an additional horse that was positive for piroplasmosis.”
The facility was quarantined and further testing was conducted. A half-mile quarantine area was determined and USDA and KDA officials have conducted interviews and searched for other horses in the area to be tested.
“I want to try to alleviate some fears or some worries or concerns,” Smith said. “Every one of these confirmed positives, both EIA and EP, were all on that index premises at one time or another in the recent months.”
Although Smith couldn’t name the facility, he did say it was an unsanctioned racetrack within Finney County. All of the EIA positive horses have been euthanized and humanely disposed of. About 30 more exposed horses were found on five different properties connected to the index premises.
“We tested those the first time. They are still under quarantine and they will be retested in 60 days,” he said. “Once we get a second negative test back on them we’ll release the…