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Equine piroplasmosis confirmed in Ireland

IRELAND'S department of agriculture, fisheries and food has confirmed that a number of thoroughbred horses in an unnamed equine facility in County Meath have been found to be suffering from equine piroplasmosis.

The facility has been served with a movement restriction notice and investigations are underway to establish the origin of the disease and the extent of the spread – if any – to other locations.

A tick-borne disease, piroplasmosis affects horses, mules, donkeys and zebras and can cause anaemia and jaundice in affected animals.

It has been a notifiable disease only since July, and though it has not been reported in Ireland before, it is understood that a previous incursion did take place.

Its occurence in County Meath is something of a mystery, as the disease is present in Mediterranean countries but not in the UK, the US, Australia or Canada.

The Irish government has been in contact with representatives from the country's thoroughbred industry, and a meeting to discuss the implications for the movement of horses and approproate measures to address the threat posed by the disease has been arranged. 

 

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