The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is in charge of federally reportable animal diseases in Canada. Reportable diseases are those that have specific reporting (and usually control) measures that are legislated. The list of reportable diseases is restricted to diseases with particular potential for severe impact on animals, both in terms of health and economic factors, as well as certain diseases transmissible from animals or food to people. The list of reportable diseases in horses is pretty small, and the number of cases identified each year is very low.
Some of the 2019 highlights:
- Equine infectious anemia (EIA): 19 positive tests out of 52 056 animals tested. There were 13 positive horses in BC, 5 in Alberta and 1 in Quebec.
- Rabies: One diagnosis: a horse in Manitoba.
- African Horse Sickness:No cases. Not particularly surprising for an African-insect-borne disease that has never been identified in Canada.
- Piroplasmosis: No cases, although the ongoing problems in the US are concerning, given the amount of movement of horses between Canada and the US.
- Contagious equine metritis (CEM): No cases. The disease has not been identified in Canada, although the US outbreak highlights the potential for importation of the disease. Click here for links to the current import restrictions on horses and horse semen from the US with regard to CEM.
- Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE): No cases. The disease has never been identified in Canada, but the related viruses, eastern and western equine encephalitis (EEE and WEE), have.
- Vesicular stomatitis (VS): No cases.
- Anthrax (infection with Bacillus anthracis): No equine cases. (There was a bovine outbreak.)
So, another good year from a reportable disease perspective. It doesn’t mean there aren’t major infectious disease concerns in horses in Canada, but at least things are quiet from the standpoint of these major exotic diseases.