Two horses in Wiltshire in the UK have recently tested positive for EIA. They have been destroyed, and another 50 horses are currently under observation. They are believed to belong to dealers who keep their horses in large barns, and have a continual flow of horses through private customers and the sale rings. The potential for spread is alarming.
This is a Notifiable Disease, with compulsory slaughter for any equine testing positive. The DEFRA website has more information about the procedures in the UK. Unfortunately, there is no obligation for an insurance company to pay out under such circumstances, and the DEFRA compensation is a princely £1 per animal.
Horses are allowed to travel freely between France Ireland and the UK under an agreement called the TPA. Although effective when set up in the 1970s, many of the stipulations in the agreement are no longer relevant.
INAGs (ERF’s sister site in the UK), has uncovered evidence of meat horses (with breed passports) travelling freely from Europe, including Rumania where EIA is endemic, to the UK. The EU borders are not policed, and horses going to slaughter are not required to have health checks, or a Coggin’s test. These horses are travelled to France to be transported across the channel under the TPA, and then sold on as riding horses in the UK.
We would like to ask you to read and sign this petition, in the hope that DEFRA will listen, and change the rulings to help prevent diseases such as this becoming a disaster similar to Foot & Mouth.