Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WEG Equine Piroplasmosis Protocol Released

by: Edited Press Release
December 12 2008, Article # 13258

After years in development, a plan that allows horses positive for equine piroplasmosis to enter the United States in order to compete in the Alltech 2010 World Equestrian Games was recently presented to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) General Assembly. The Games, to be held Sept. 25-Oct. 10, 2010, represent the world championships of the eight FEI disciplines. This is the first time the Games will be held outside of Europe.

Equine piroplasmosis is a blood-borne disease that can cause sickness in horses that have not been previously exposed. In areas of the world where the disease is more common, it can be transmitted by carrier horses that have encountered the disease previously and that carry both the causative organism and antibodies in their blood.

The World Games 2010 Foundation coordinated with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to organize this protocol.

"Effectively negating the piroplasmosis risk for both competition horses and the domestic horse population is a primary focus for our team, as part of our overall importation and quarantine plan," said Kent Allen, DVM, veterinary services coordinator for the event. "We want all horses to enter a healthy environment, and to leave the Games from a healthy environment."

The piroplasmosis organism requires specific tick species to complete its life cycle. For the organism to spread, this species of tick must feed on an infected horse, then drop off and feed on a non-infected horse.


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