Shipping and Disease: EVA

One of the major problems with EVA is how easily it can be transferred from one horse to another. Of course there is the respiratory route, where nasal secretions spread the virus from horse to horse through a barn or training stable.
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The welfare issues of horses in the United States, and around the world, are of concern to all horse owners. Whether it’s starving, neglected, or abused horses in our own county, or the plight of working burros and mules halfway around the world, we care. Sometimes we don’t know how to put our caring into action. The first thing that we want, however, is information. We need to know more about the animals involved and why they got into in their situations. In our cover story this month on Canadian Equine Welfare, we delve into several of the issues that we in the United States either already have concerns about, or might need to recognize as problems that could affect our horses. For example, if, or when, the commercial slaughter of horses is ended in the United States, how will U.S. horses be protected from being shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter? When planning for our story on horse welfare in Mexico (April 2005; see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?id=5636), an international veterinarian friend of mine gave me a pitying look when he heard me say that horses wouldn’t be allowed by law to be shipped for slaughter in Mexico. "The slaughter horse pens and pleasure horse pens are right next to each other," he said. So where does free trade end and federal law begin?

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the number of live horses shipped to Mexico from the United States was: 2001/4,608, 2002/3,467, 2003/3,755, 2004/17,951, 2005/23,309.

Do we really think Mexico had a 400% increase in the number of pleasure horses needed for riders in those four years?

The number of live horses shipped from the United States to Canada has remained fairly steady at just under 30,000. USDA numbers showed: 2001/29,344, 2002/29,395, 2003/26,040, 2004/26,324, 2005/29,701

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Written by:

Kimberly S. Brown is the editor of EquiManagement/EquiManagement.com and the group publisher of the Equine Health Network at Equine Network LLC.

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