EVA Video Available To Public

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a video entitled “Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA): A Manageable Problem.” EVA is an acute, contagious viral equine disease that can cause fever, respiratory illness, ocular

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a video entitled “Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA): A Manageable Problem.” EVA is an acute, contagious viral equine disease that can cause fever, respiratory illness, ocular inflammation, edema (swelling), weakness or sickness in foals, and abortion. It can be transmitted through respiratory or venereal routes.


The disease came into the spotlight following a 1984 epidemic on Kentucky Thoroughbred breeding farms. Major restrictions put in effect by foreign countries on the movement of horses from the United States still exist as a result, impeding international trade in equids and semen. Currently, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) does not have a program to control EVA in the United States because the disease has not been considered widespread, and outbreaks are sporadic. This is about to change because according to officials, the United States has become a “dumping ground” for EVA. The equine industry requested that APHIS initiate surveillance, control, and possibly eradication programs.


An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) was published in the USDA’s Federal Register last fall (https://thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=1338), and APHIS collected public comment. “We are going to propose a rule, and in order to do that, (the public) needs to understand the disease first,” explains Tim Cordes, DVM, Senior Staff Veterinarian with the National Animal Health Staff, Veterinary Services, APHIS. “This is really representing the new generation of USDA–we’re saying, ‘Look, we don’t want to regulate EVA unless you want to.’ We sought public comment.” The rule, which will incorporate a largely voluntary control program, should be complete in six months.Cordes explained that as a result of the ANPRM, the horse industry was strongly in favor of this type of program, in which APHIS would test all imported equine semen and stallions at the time of arrival to determine whether they are positive for EVA, and states would be encouraged to have their own control programs to monitor the movement of infected semen and virus-shedders.


The video and booklet are a major way USDA is promoting understanding of the disease. The information was compiled by Cordes, Peter J. Timoney, MVB, PhD, FRCVS, Director of the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky, and William H. McCollum, MS, PhD, a professor in equine viral diseases at the Gluck Center

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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