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CENTRAL FLORIDA LIVESTOCK AGENTS GROUP

CENTRAL FLORIDA LIVESTOCK AGENTS GROUP

News

Equine Reportable Diseases

The State of Florida, as one of the top horse show destinations in the country, adds billions of dollars to the US economy annually. The warm weather, stellar facilities, professional horsemen and horsewomen, and large equine events attract visitors and horses to Florida from all over the country and world. It is all our responsibility to keep the Florida equine industry safe and free from infectious diseases that may threaten our equine population and industry.

Over the past year, the Florida equine industry has been challenged with several cases of equine reportable diseases. The Florida Department of Agriculture responds quickly, helps implement biosecurity measures, and educates the public- all to mitigate disease spread and to keep the Florida equine population safe. 

Strangles, an upper airway disease caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi equi, was reported approximately 25 times in 2019. 

West Nile Virus, a neurological disease spread by mosquitos, was reported 10 times in 9 different counties in 2019. 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a neurological disease spread by mosquitos, was reported 28 times in 18 different counties in 2019.

Equine Infectious Anemia (Coggins Test), a blood borne infectious viral disease spread through shared needles and biting flies, was reported 7 times in 2019.

We value your passion and commitment to the Florida equine community and would like this summary to serve as a reminder that you, too, provide an important role in preventing the spread of equine infectious diseases within our state. The link below provides access to the Division of Animal Industry’s interactive Florida’s Reportable Equine Disease map, which allows users to visually survey equine reportable diseases throughout the state:

https://www.fdacs.gov/ Consumer-Resources/Animals/ Animal-Diseases/Florida-s- Reportable-Equine-Disease-Map

Furthermore, we would like to remind you that Equine Infectious Anemia (Coggins) test requirements are mandatory for facilities where horses are commingling for show and/or exhibitions.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a contagious, infection, and incurable disease which can affect any equine. The only tool for protection is preventing the exposure of negative horses to non-tested horses and/or known infected horses.  An easy step to accomplish this task is to ask exhibitors for proof of a current negative Coggins test with their entry form at every show.

For your records, please review 5C-18 Florida Administrative Code that explains the requirements and procedures regarding Equine Infectious Anemia (Coggins test) requirements for horses congregated at public or private premises.

Thank you for your assistance in safeguarding Florida’s equine industry. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.

Source:

George A. Fernandez, DVM, CPM
Diagnostic Veterinary Manager
Division of Animal Industry
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(863) 578-1861
(863) 444-8157 Cell
(863) 578-1860 Fax

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