The Importance of Health Certificates

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a Federally reported disease that requires the positive equine to be euthanized or quarantined for life. There is no cure, and there is no treatment for EIA. With the recent EIA Colorado incident that quarantined 240 horses due to a horse that tested positive for EIA after traveling from a sale without the required documentations; negative EIA and certificate of veterinary inspection(CVI). Since then the state officials are trying to locate the horses that have been sent across the state that shared a location with the positive tested EIA horse. This is why owner compliance with acquiring CVI prior to travel is so important.

“The point going forward is this isn’t just about Equine Infectious Anemia. This is about animal health, traceability that’s applicable with any horse disease. This time it was EIA but there’s eight to 10 other diseases that arise that, in some cases, are much more communicable than Equine Infectious Anemia.”
— Colorado State Veterinarian Keith Roehr

When an infectious disease is diagnosed, the first thing owners, veterinarians, and state veterinarians need to do is identify if and where the horse has traveled, if anywhere, and where other horse’s within the barn have traveled. Once it is we know where the exposed horses have traveled, we need to identify other horses throughout the country who have traveled to that same location in that same period of time will need to be identified. When horses and their owners don’t get the proper CVI prior to traveling, this doesn’t just mean that one unidentified horse could have (in this example) EIA. It means that horse, as well as all of the horses he has come into contact with, and any horses those horses have come into contact with could also be infected.

Be sure to check the requirements when preparing to travel with your horse(s). Proof of a negative EIA test is required to travel within the state and to cross state lines with only 2 exceptions: traveling directly to a medical facility and/or hauling a foal under the age of 6 months with a dam that has a current negative EIA. The majority of states require a negative EIA within 12 months, a few require a negative within 6 months. Traveling across state-lines requires a current CVI unless that state has reciprocity with the bordering states. CVI’s are commonly valid for 30 days with the exception of a few states. Failure to comply with the requirements could lead to civil and criminal penalties.