**Disclaimer** This is a public news article from Rock Creek Stables. It does not involve any horses at the Rock Creek Stables facility in Lincoln City. As noted in the article the horse in question is located in Clackamas County near Portland, OR.
A recent post on a popular Facebook Group for Oregon equestrians raised a bit of concern recently. On January 21st, a post from a user indicated they were looking for a new horse for someone who’s horse they claimed had a positive Coggins test. Several other users began commenting to obtain further clarification and details related to the statement regarding the positive EIA result, surprised that there had been no public report from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. There is also typically prompt news coverage whenever there is a positive result in Oregon due to the rarity of such results for equine in the State.
Andrea Cantu-Schomus, Director of Communications for ODA, responded to a request for comment and confirmed that there had indeed been a positive EIA case in Oregon. ODA would only confirm that the case was located somewhere in Clackamas County. Cantu-Schomus said: “In this case the horse was diagnosed on a private farm, where it has lived for the past 2 years with a stable population.”
The original poster on the Facebook Group later stated that all other horses on the property had been negatively tested. This has not been confirmed as the ODA did not respond to questions related to other horses at the location, including if the other horses were indeed tested, the status of any test results if any, and how many other horses were on the property.
“The positive Coggins test occurred in Clackamas County and it was confirmed January 8, 2021.” said Cantu-Schomus.
In a follow-up statement Cantu-Schomus also said: “In the past, EIA was detected at race tracks in Oregon during racing season, where there was a large number of potential exposures that had occurred, which we were not able to trace. Because of the increased risk, ODA released the information to the public to alert horse owners that there was an increased risk, and that if their horses had been potentially exposed, that they would work with their veterinarian to have them tested.”
In data from the USDA, Oregon reported only 1 positive EIA case out of 7,679 total tests in 2018. There were 0 positive cases reported in 2019 in the state. The USDA did not yet appear to have published EIA testing information for 2020, nor did the information appear available from the State of Oregon.
For the one positive case in 2018, the ODA was proactive in making the information public. Still, with EIA being so rare and serious in the state, many equestrians throughout Oregon clearly are wanting to be made aware when there is a positive case. It appears this case may have been the last time there was a positive case in Oregon if there was indeed no positive cases in 2020.
Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease that attacks horses’ immune systems. The virus is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids from an infected to a noninfected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies, and more rarely through the use of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.
We imagine the owners of the horse who recently tested positive are likely devastated by this recent news. Its a reminder of the importance of following all of the guidelines set out under Oregon Statute and rules set by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, as this significantly contributes to the low number of cases in Oregon. Equine facilities, regardless of how formal or unformal, can further help by having and enforcing policies that ensure that horses moving to their stables or coming to shows/clinics from out of state, have negative tests and import permits, as required by Oregon law.