And now it has, via 2 horses imported in from Romania via Belgium on 22nd December. Defra has confirmed that these horses will be destroyed after testing positive during random post-import testing. 50 more equines at the same yard, reportedly a dealer who regularly imports equine under the guise of for ‘breeding purposes’, are also under surveillance.
ERF were so concerned by the increasing number of ‘rescued equines’ being imported into the UK from Europe, and the associated risk of infectious diseases, that they helped form a sister group last year called INAG for Equines. Together with INAG’s, ERF have been warning Defra that the present Tripartite Agreement (which allows equines to travel between France,Ireland and the UK without health checks) was putting the UK horse population at great risk.
Last April we reported the EIA outbreak in France causing horses in the Var region to be quarantined and those that tested positive were then euthanized.
For more information on EIA visit the Defra website.