Evidence for absence of equine arteritis virus in the horse population of New Zealand

Evidence for absence of equine arteritis virus in the horse population of New Zealand
Peer reviewed


AIM: To summarise investigation and laboratory data collected between 2001 and 2011 to provide evidence that equine arteritis virus is not present in the horse population of New Zealand.

METHODS: Analysis was carried out on results from laboratory tests carried out at the Ministry for Primary Industries Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) for equine arteritis virus from horses tested prior to being imported or exported, testing of stallions as part of the New Zealand equine viral arteritis (EVA) control scheme and testing as part of transboundary animal disease (TAD) investigations for exclusion of EVA. Horse breeds were categorised as Thoroughbred, Standardbred or other.

RESULTS: A total of 7,157 EVA serological test records (from import and export testing, EVA control scheme testing and TAD investigations) were available for analysis between 2005 and 2011. For the three breed categories a seroprevalence of ≤1.6% at the 95% confidence level was determined for each category. Between 2001 and 2011, as part of the EVA control scheme, the EVA status of 465 stallions was determined to be negative. During 2005–2011 EVA was excluded from 84 TAD investigations.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no evidence of equine arteritis virus being present in the general horse population outside of carrier stallions managed under the EVA control scheme.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Equine arteritis virus is absent from the general horse population of New Zealand.

KEY WORDS: Equine arteritis virus, equine viral arteritis, EVA, equid, horse, freedom, absence

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