The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System reported seven positive cases of equine infectious anemia (EIA) at a rescue in Lac Ste. Anne County.
On January 22, 2021, positive EIA results were confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) national reference laboratory. The CFIA had sampled several equines at the newly affected premises as part of a disease investigation that began in 2020. The property is home to an animal rescue organization, and equines from many different sources have commingled there.
The outbreak is presently well-managed, but horse owners are advised to stay informed on this matter. EIA spreads primarily through insects, so risk can be managed in the winter by reducing exposure between healthy and infected horses.
Clinical signs compatible with EIA infection were noted by veterinarians when the animals were sampled.
Improved biosecurity protocols have been strongly recommended to the owners of the organization to help control the ongoing spread of EIA and protect the national herd.
A CFIA investigation is underway, and as per program policy, movement controls have been placed on the infected horses and any on-premises contact animals. Movement controls will remain until all disease response activities have been completed, including follow-up testing and ordering the destruction of confirmed cases. Trace-out activities might require the CFIA to undertake actions at additional premises as outlined in the current policy.