Equine Infectious Anemia Control Program

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The current EIA program consists of two components. Under the first component, equine owners voluntarily pay to have their horses tested when they are identified by the industry (i.e. movement into shows, point of sale, etc.). Testing is conducted by private veterinary practitioners and EIA private laboratories accredited by CFIA for that function. The second component of the program is the mandatory response, for which the CFIA is responsible.

Each time an EIA positive equine is discovered, it must be reported to the CFIA and disease control measures are implemented. Equines on the premises where the positive animal was detected must be tested and receive negative results before being allowed to move off of the property. Equines in contact with the positive animal within 30 days of the sampling date are also tested. Equines that are positive for EIA and have clinical signs are ordered destroyed. Owners of equines that are confirmed positive for EIA without clinical signs must choose whether to either keep them in a permanent quarantine or have them destroyed. In the later case, the CFIA orders the horse destroyed and pays compensation (maximum amount payable of $2000 per equine).

Accredited laboratories charge owners an extra $2 for each animal tested to offset the cost of the CFIA's mandatory response. While this amount may, in some years, cover the cost of compensation, it does not cover CFIA's cost in terms of manpower and operating cost. This is provided as a service to the industry.

Participation in the program is voluntary and all elements of the program have been developed in conjunction with the industry. The program is based on internationally recognized disease control standards, current knowledge of the disease, and diagnostic methods. As there is no effective treatment for EIA and no vaccine to prevent it, the disease can be successfully controlled by testing and the elimination of positive equines. Voluntary surveillance testing by equine owners is an integral part of the CFIA control program.

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