The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced today that effective March 2, 2011, an updated regulation will take effect regarding the Coggins test for equine infectious anemia.
The updated regulation specifies that "all horses assembled at a show, fair, race meet or other such function or participating in any activity on properties where horses belonging to different owners may come into contact with each other in Virginia must be accompanied by a report of an official negative test for equine infectious anemia.
" For years horse owners have been required to have a valid Coggins test when horses are assembled, and the updated regulation clarifies this. Assembly of horses for a trail ride on public property such as a state park is an example of an activity requiring horse owners to have a valid Coggins report with them.
Starting March 2, rangers in state and national parks may check for Coggins papers, and owners without valid test reports could be charged with a Class I Misdemeanor and asked to leave the park. As is currently the case under existing regulations, owners presenting fraudulent paperwork can be charged with civil penalties as well.
"Equine Infectious Anemia is a serious disease," said Dr. Richard Wilkes, VDACS State Veterinarian. "It affects all members of the equine species and is found in nearly every country of the world. All infected horses, even those that are asymptomatic, become carriers and are infectious for life. Infected animals must either be destroyed or remain permanently isolated from other equines to prevent transmission."
The change in regulation is not drastic, but it is important and horse owners need to take seriously the need for a valid Coggins test each year prior to any assemblage with other equines." Wilkes says that horse owners may get a Coggins test by contacting their local large animal veterinarian. They routinely pull blood samples and submit them for Coggins testing. For more information, horse owners should contact their veterinarian or VDACS' Office of Veterinary Services.
About the author
As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.
She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.
Staying up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..