BREAKING: Equine Infectious Anemia Confirmed in Colorado

September 7, 2018 – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) received presumptive positive Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test results on Friday, August 24, 2018 from the Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory.  An additional confirmatory test was completed on Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

The horse arrived at a Weld County, Colorado premises from another state on July 18, 2018.  The horse did not have a negative EIA test or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) prior to entering the state of Colorado.  CDA is working to confirm the traceback to the state of origin.

The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office (CDA) has determined, with the help of records from the Brands Division and Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory, that approximately 230-250 horses had been on the premises during the same time as the index positive animal.  Approximately 100 of these horses were sent to 20 other states across the country and those State Veterinarian’s are taking steps to locate, quarantine, and re-test those horses.

CDA is working to locate approximately 130-150 horses that went to different premises across Colorado.  We have limited contact information for many of the people that purchased these horses.  If you believe you may have purchased horses from the index premises, please contact our office at 303-869-9130.

As of September 7th, 2018, The EIA incident in Colorado has resulted in:

  • The index premises in Weld County is under a quarantine order; two associated premises are under hold orders
  • Fifteen (15) premises are under hold orders in nine Colorado counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Crowley, Delta, Douglas, El Paso, Mesa, Montrose, and Weld
  • Thirty-seven (37) exposed horses have been located in Colorado

The Hold orders will remain in place until the exposed horses on the premises test negative at the 60-day re-test.  This re-test date is 60 days from the last known date of exposure to the positive horse.

CDA is actively monitoring and working to ensure compliance with the quarantine of the index premises and the hold orders issued for premises with exposed horses.  The Department does have the legal authority to pursue civil fines against those who violate quarantine, hold orders, or animal health requirement rules.  Due to state laws and regulations, CDA is limited by the details that can be shared regarding individual operations under investigation, quarantine, or hold orders.

Equine Infectious Anemia

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a viral disease spread by large biting insects (such as horse flies and deer flies), inappropriate use of needles, or other equipment used between susceptible equine animals such as horses, mules, and donkeys.  Infected horses may not appear to have any clinical signs of the disease, although it can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse, and even death.  There is no cure for the disease, so infected animals must be quarantined for life or euthanized.  EIA is not transmissible to people.

Equine Infectious Anemia is a disease for which horses must be tested annually before they can be transported across state lines.  The test for EIA is commonly called a Coggins Test.

For additional information on EIA, please visit the CDA Equine Infectious Anemia website.  EIA is a disease that is reportable to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian’s Office.  Visit the CDA Livestock Health website for guidance on reportable diseases.