Equine Piroplasmosis: Kentucky Entry Requirements Updated

All horses originating from Texas must be accompanied by proof of a negative EP test to enter Kentucky.

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The Kentucky State Veterinarian’s Office has issued a statement today (Sept. 7) updating the equine piroplasmosis (EP) testing requirements for horses entering the commonwealth.

Equine piroplasmosis, a tick-borne non-contagious blood disease, results from infection by the protozoa Babesia caballi or Theileria equi (formerly Babesia equi). In most cases, piroplasmosis presents an acute infection, with fever, loss of appetite, malaise, labored or rapid respiration and congestion of the mucus membranes. In rare cases the disease can be fatal.

In December 2010, State Veterinarian Robert Stout, DVM, mandated that effective Jan. 1, 2011, all horses shipping to Kentucky Thoroughbred racetracks must show proof of a negative EP test before being allowed on to track grounds.

According to the statement from the State Veterinarian’s Office, the updated shipping requirements are as follows:

TEXAS HORSES: "A significant outbreak of this disease was detected affecting hundreds of Texas horses in late 2009, with the investigation continuing through 2010. Though the investigation has since concluded, and the risk of transmission to susceptible horses is being mitigated, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will continue for the remainder of this calendar year to require that horses originating from Texas be accompanied with certification of having tested negative for equine piroplasmosis (T. equi only) during the 12 month period preceding the animal’s entry into Kentucky. We are in the process of evaluating testing and other data provided to us by Texas Animal Health Officials and determining what, if any, testing for piroplasmosis of Texas horses entering KY will be required in 2012. In addition to the EP Testing requirement, horses entering Kentucky from Texas are required to enter with a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and Kentucky Entry Permit

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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