Kentucky Horse Council Urges Event Managers to Notify Participants of Entry Requirements
RELEASE: June 4, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Essie Rogers
The Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) recommends that all event participants are notified in advance (show bill or flyer, etc.) that the law requires them to provide proof of current negative Coggins Test and Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) when attending a public equine event.
A Coggins test is a simple blood test that determines whether a horse is a carrier for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), a blood borne, incurable disease. The disease can be spread by using contaminated needles or through biting flies.
Once a horse is diagnosed with EIA, federal law requires the horse to either be euthanized or imposes a lifetime quarantine. This stringent eradication program protects other horses from exposure. Through a rigorous testing and enforcement program the United States has dramatically decreased incidences of EIA over the past 30 years.
For horses travelling within the state of Kentucky, a Coggins test and in-state Health Certificate are valid for one year from the date of issue. Out of state travel requirements vary by state and depend upon current disease outbreaks. All inter-state travelers hauling equines should check with their veterinarian and the office of the state veterinarian in the state of destination to garner proper credentials before hauling.
"By carrying proper credentials in the truck or trailer, horse owners can be proactive in abiding by the law and working to keep all Kentucky horses safe from the spread of Equine Infectious Anemia," emphasized KHC board president, Madelyn Millard. "Show managers, farm owners, and recreational destinations also have a responsibility to verify that horses entering the property are not carriers of the deadly disease."
Horse show and event management are within their legal bounds to require participants to produce proper documents before allowing them to register for or attend an event or activity.
According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture show and event management both have a "legal obligation" to insure that animals participating in events are in compliance with all rules and regulations.
Rusty Ford, Equine Program Manager for the Kentucky State Veterinarian, explained, "I believe an appropriate analogy is to equate the management of a show accepting equine entries to the individual managing a gas station selling tobacco products. Both parties have a legal obligation to insure individuals participating meet state regulations: a valid EIA Test and CVI for the equine being exhibited and a valid proof of identification that the individual buying cigarettes meets the minimum age requirement.
"Event Management is fulfilling their responsibility by disallowing an entry to be accepted if the owner can't provide 'satisfactory' documentation that the entry meets all state requirements," Ford continued. "Show Management has an assumed responsibility to insure that equines participating in their events meet the minimal health requirements established by the Kentucky State Board of Agriculture."
More information about EIA, Coggins testing, and travel documentation can be found online at www.kentuckyhorse.org
. About The Kentucky Horse Council
The Kentucky Horse Council is a non-profit organization dedicated, through education and leadership, to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community. The Kentucky Horse Council provides educational programs and information, scholarships, personal liability insurance, trail riding advocacy, horse show support, and an annual statewide equine industry directory.