Prevention and Control

The control and prevention of EIA is based on surveillance of equine populations. This is done through serological testing and the prevention of movement of serologically positive horses. Strict quarantine (180 metre separation from other equids is effective, but often not practical). Reducing the risk of herd exposure via pre-event testing, change of ownership testing, and movement to high risk areas has helped in reducing the numbers of positive animals.

Many countries have instituted the mandatory destruction of serologically positive horses and eradication of EIA from insolated populations has succeeded in many locales, but this seems unlikely the case in North America where the virus has an extremely variable course and capacity to mutate.

Horse owners can help control the spread of EIA by:

  1. Subjecting their horse(s) to the Coggins’ test for EIA annually.
  2. Requiring a negative Coggins’ Test certificate to accompany all horses entering boarding stables, fairs, shows and race tracks.
  3. Not allowing their horse(s) to come in close contact with horses of questionable health status.
  4. Controlling biting flies and mosquitoes by developing a fly control procedure around the stable.
  5. Using disposable hypodermic needles to prevent the spread of the virus.
  6. Cleaning and sterilizing all instruments by boiling for 15 minutes prior to reusing.
  7. Avoiding the practice of interchanging equipment such as bridles, saddles, brushes and bandages from one animal to another.
  8. Removing reactors promptly as directed by Agriculture Canada and cleaning and disinfecting the stable and surroundings.


EIA is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Regulations. This means that all suspected cases must be reported to the CFIA and all reported suspect cases are immediately investigated by Agency inspectors.

Canada’s national program for the control of EIA in horses includes the following:

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