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Outbreak Of EIA Detected In UK
London, UK

Horse owners are urged not to panic after Equine Infectious Anaemia is detected in two horses in Wiltshire.

Defra has confirmed that Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA), otherwise known as Swamp Fever, was found in two horses imported from the continent. The infected animals, which arrived in a group of ten originating from Romania and Belgium, have been humanely destroyed.

EIA has not been imported into Great Britain since 1976, so the news will be a shock to the horse industry. However, the BHS is advising horse owners that there is no need to be overly concerned by this news.

Lee Hackett, Head of Welfare at the British Horse Society, said: "Obviously any outbreak of an exotic disease is very worrying and this is news that we did not want to hear. However, there is no reason to panic and every reason to hope that these cases will form an isolated incident and be successfully contained. Defra have acted incredibly quickly and taken every possible precaution to ensure this outbreak is suppressed.

Furthermore, EIA is spread by biting insects rather than horse to horse contact, so the recent weather will have improved the chances of containment. Few biting insects will have survived the cold snap meaning that transmission of the disease to other horses is extremely unlikely."

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