Jersey horse owners warned of rare exotic disease

Horse owners in Jersey are being warned to be vigilant following the discovery of an exotic disease in Devon.

Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA) causes horses to suffer from fever, anaemia and emaciation.

The disease affects horses, donkeys and mules and is spread by insects.

Director for Environment, Willie Peggie, said concerned horse owners should "consult their own vet who will report any suspicion of this disease".

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the incubation period of the virus was variable, from a matter of days to several months, but once infected with EIA, a horse is infected for life and can pose a risk to other horses in close proximity.

The disease, which typically occurs in low-lying swampy areas, is not a threat to humans.

In January, two imported horses in Wiltshire were destroyed after testing positive for EIA and a horse imported into Northumberland from the Netherlands was put down in September.

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