Kentucky tightens restrictions on Texas horses

November 1, 2009

All horses entering Kentucky from Texas must now be tested for equine piroplasmosis.

The Kentucky state veterinarian's office announced the tighter restrictions on October 29 in response to an outbreak centred in Kleberg County, Texas, in which more than 100 horses have so far tested positive to the tick-borne parasitic disease.

Rusty Ford, equine programmes manager for the Kentucky state veterinarian's office, said the tighter restrictions were a response to word from the Texas Animal Health Commission that the parasite causing the disease, Theleria equi, had been detected in horses not known to have had direct contact with the previously identified group of infected animals.

Given that the source of introduction and probable mode of transmission has not yet been determined, Kentucky ordered that all equids originating from Texas, or horses that have been resident in Texas during the 30-day period preceding their entry into Kentucky, be tested for the disease.

All horses from Texas must be accompanied by a copy of a negative test certificate.

"Horses from other areas of the country entering Texas for exhibition purposes, and have not resided in Texas for greater than 30 days, are not included in this testing requirement.

"Should these horses transport from Texas to Kentucky utilising a Texas Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, they are required to have in their possession the certificate used for movement into Texas.

"In addition to the equine piroplasmosis testing requirement of resident equines, all equids moving from Texas to Kentucky are required to have an entry permit issued by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture recorded on the Texas Certificate of Veterinary Inspection," Ford said.

Ford said the requirements would be adjusted as fresh information on the outbreak comes to hand.