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Department confirms new case of Equine Infectious Anaemia

The Department of Agriculture and Food has confirmed the twenty-seventh case of Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA) since the first case was confirmed on 15 June.

This latest case was confirmed following analysis of a blood sample taken from a horse regarded by the Department as being part of a small group of particularly high-risk horses given their contact with the first horse to have been confirmed with the disease in June. In the intervening period she been subjected to regular testing and, on all previous occasions tested, had given negative results for EIA.

A very small number of horses in this high-risk group are still alive and have also been subject to a frequent testing programme. To date, these other horses have all had negative results when tested. Following this latest case, these horses will continue to be kept under surveillance and the Department will keep under review the basis on which individual horse or premises restrictions are being lifted and will continue to take a cautious approach to the lifting of such restrictions.

In the meantime, the Department is continuing its targeted surveillance programme, currently centred in the Co Meath area. To date in excess of 3,000 samples have been tested as part of this phase of the programme and in excess of 22,000 samples have been tested since June. The testing programme is continuing.

Today's case again illustrates the absolute necessity of maintaining a prudent approach in relation to the controls currently in place and emphasises the need for horse owners/trainers, veterinary practitioners, the Department and all those associated with the equine industry to continue to maintain a vigilant approach in the interests of containing this outbreak and eradicating EIA from Ireland.

16 November, 2006

Date Released: 16 November 2006