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Dutch join probe into Swamp Fever infection.

THE authorities in Holland have joined the probe into how a horse infected with the deadly Swamp Fever came through international import health checks en route to Northumberland.

One of six horses delivered from the Netherlands to a yard in Ashington was found to be carrying the rare and incurable Equine Infectious Anaemia bug, and was put down 48 hours ago by Defra vets.

The remaining five horses, plus 11 more at the yard, have been placed in quarantine while a full investigation is carried out.

A 200-metre restriction zone has been imposed around the premises at Lintonville, on the north-east side of Ashington, to prevent other horses being infected, though there is said to be no danger to humans.

Holland is not one of the seven European countries where EIA has been currently identified, and the authorities are trying to trace the origins of the non-thoroughbred horses brought in by Ashington horse dealer John Graham.

A spokesman for Defra last night told The Journal: "A detailed epidemiological investigation by Animal Health and Trading Standards is taking place with the horse owner and passports are being examined.

"The Dutch authorities are conducting a similar investigation at the premises in the Netherlands.

"We cannot comment further until we have the results of these investigations."

Austria, France, Greece, Italy, Romania, USSR and Yugoslavia are the only European countries to have reported EIA outbreaks, with the disease endemic in Romania.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 10, 2010
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