Leading international charity, World Horse Welfare, has welcomed the European Commission’s decision to tighten disease control measures in Romania, where equine infectious anaemia (EIA or swamp fever) is endemic.

Leading international charity, World Horse Welfare, has welcomed the European Commission’s decision to tighten disease control measures in Romania, where equine infectious anaemia (EIA or swamp fever) is endemic.
 
Equine infectious anaemia (EIA or swamp fever) is endemic in RomaniaThe UK has been on alert following the DEFRA announcement on January 19 that two cases of EIA had been discovered in Wiltshire in imported Romanian horses, so the charity views a more stringent and transparent export procedure of Romanian horses (linked to improved identification and enhanced checks on the animals at destination) as essential measures to protect Europe’s horses.
 
World Horse Welfare has highlighted its concern over disease spread for many years, having witnessed a worrying number of ill horses being transported long-distance to slaughter in Europe – an issue the charity campaigns to see an end to, wanting the introduction of a carcase-only trade.
 
Roly Owers, chief executive of the charity, said: “Given the risks, we feel that all equine exports from Romania should be stopped until an effective eradication programme is in place, however these steps are in the right direction and we are pleased that action is being taken.
 
“We have been working with the European Commission and Government departments to provide evidence, advice and solutions as well as providing training to vets through our project in Romania, and agree that the new rules will go a long way in helping to secure the health of our horses here in the UK.
 
“World Horse Welfare believes that this is an important step forward in helping to control infectious diseases within Europe, which can have serious health and welfare consequences. The charity is keen to see proper enforcement of these rules to ensure the new procedures are followed.”

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