Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - Mark Humph

Equine Infectious Anaemia

changes to disease control measures



1.    Since the outbreak of Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA) in Wiltshire in January 2010, the UK and other Member States have amended their EIA control measures.  The UK has been active in negotiating with the EU Commission and other Member States on these new protective measures for EIA and this paper summarises the main changes.

New post import controls (UK only)

2.    Under the previous post import rules, horses of Romanian origin that were tested for EIA were not placed under restriction or subjected to other disease controls while tests were carried out to determine whether the horses were infected. Nor were they subject to vector control (protection against biting flies). There was therefore an ongoing risk of onward transmission of disease with the greatest risk being between May and September when the biting flies which can spread the disease become more active.


3.     Although all horses identified in Traces (the EU system for recording the movement of animals and certain animal products into/between Members States) as originating in or spending a significant period in either Romania or Italy were subjected to post import checks and tests,  it was possible that horses which had originated in Romania but had spent a period of residence in another Member States would not have been identified and could not  therefore  have been selected for post import checks.  Also, horses  moved under the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) between France, the Republic of Ireland and the UK and some movements of registered horses under Annex B of Directive 90/426  are not recorded in Traces and are therefore not subject to post import checks.


4.    Following discussions with representatives of the UK equine sector, the following new post import arrangements will apply with immediate effect:-


·         During the high risk period for EIA (May to September), all known consignments of four or more horses from any other Member States (excluding those moved under the TPA) will be subjected to risk based checks for compliance purposes by the Animal Health Agency.


·          All equidae found to have originated in or spent a significant period of time in Romania or Italy during the past 12 months will be placed under movement restriction pending receipt of negative blood tests for EIA.


New protective measures for equidae and certain equine products originating in Romania (and destined for all other  Member States)


5.    The UK has been negotiating with the EU Commission and other Member States on new protective measures for EIA setting out a specific regime for the movement of - and trade in - equidae and equine semen, ova and embryos, as well as certain blood products from Romania.

6.    Member States have agreed new restrictions which can be viewed in full at:-

7.    The new restrictions now in force are:-

·         All restrictions for EIA relate to equidae and equine products.  Previous restrictions had only applied to equidae.

·         All equidae will have to be subject to certification for internal movements within Romania (as per intra-EU trade).

·         Ban on equidae or equine products moving from the areas mentioned in the Annex to the new Decision (currently the whole of Romania).  Derogations from this would apply only if:

o   The entire consignment of equidae must have been isolated on a holding approved by the competent authority as free of EIA, and kept at least 200m from other equidae of lesser health status for at least 90 days prior to transport.

o   The entire consignment would need to be Coggins tested twice (90 days apart) with negative results 90 days apart before transport.

o   All horses must have passports, be electronically identified, and have the EIA results recorded in their passports; they must also have   Annex C certificates which must be validated on Traces.  Equidae must be transported directly to point of destination with no markets or assembly centres in transit.

o   Competition horses are subject to further derogation and only  require one negative Coggins test within 10 days prior to dispatch but should originate in an approved holding where all equidae in the holding and within 200m around were subjected to a test between 90 and 180 days prior to movement.

·         Romania must provide the Commission and Member States details of approved holdings for exports and names of responsible vets.

·         Romania must pre-notify the Member State of destination the movement of equidae at least 72 hours prior to their arrival – using Traces.  

·         Equidae for breeding and production must be isolated on arrival to the first Member State for at least 30 days and 200m away from other equidae or under vector protection and tested not less than 28 days after isolation.

·         If this equidae are subsequently  dispatched to another / second Member State during 90 days after arrival into first Member State, they must be Coggins tested – with negative result - within 10 days before movement; they must have an Annex C certificate

·         Member State’s receiving horses must regularly report to the Commission and Member States through SCoFCAH.

·         All costs of extra tests and isolation in Romania must be paid by exporter and in Member State of destination by importer. All these charges are likely to stop trade in the so called ‘low value horses’.

The Tripartite Agreement

8.    These protective measures, and any experience/intelligence gained as a result, will inform Defra’s continuing review of the Tripartite Agreement with the competent authorities in France and the Republic of Ireland. 



 Exotic Disease Policy Programme

30 June 2010

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