Alternatives for Selling Untested Equids

In fall l999, House Bill 1732 of the 76th Texas Legislature went into effect, requiring equids, including horses, donkeys, mules, and asses to be tested for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) within 12 months prior to undergoing a change of

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In fall l999, House Bill 1732 of the 76th Texas Legislature went into effect, requiring equids, including horses, donkeys, mules, and asses to be tested for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) within 12 months prior to undergoing a change of ownership, whether through trade, gift or sale by private treaty or at a market. The 12 commissioners of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state’s livestock health regulatory agency, adopted regulations to comply with the law.


The only exceptions to the EIA testing requirement are nursing foals, regardless of age, if they are transferred with their test-negative dam and Texas zebras changing hands. All other untested equids are restricted for sale to slaughter only, where blood will be collected for testing at state expense.


Regulations and law for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) were developed to protect equids from exposure to this incurable virus that can be harbored by infected, but healthy-looking equids. The virus is spread through blood-to-blood contact between infected and “clean” equine, which can occur when biting flies move from one animal to another, or when contaminated medical instruments are used. Although some infected equine may look healthy, others stricken by the virus can develop acute symptoms and become extremely ill, or die.


In calendar year l999, nearly 200,000 Texas equids were tested for the disease, whether for interstate movement, for shows, fairs, sale, etc., and 154 were found to be infected with the virus. In l998, 230 of the 180,000 tested were positive for the disease, while in l997,579 were found to be infected

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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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