First Official Report Of Equine Piroplasmosis In Ireland


Junior Agriculture Minister, Mr. Tony Killeen T.D., today confirmed that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has identified the occurrence of equine Piroplasmosis in a number of thoroughbred horses in an equine facility in county Meath.



[ClickPress, Tue Sep 08 2009] Piroplasmosis is a tick-borne protozoan disease of horses, mules, donkeys and zebra. It is caused by blood parasites – Theleria equi and Babesia caballi and gives rise to anaemia and jaundice in affected animals. The disease is not readily contagious and has no Zoonotic implications and therefore no public health concerns arise.

According to Minister Killeen: “The County Meath facility affected by the occurrence of equine Piroplasmosis has been served with a movement restriction notice and epidemiological investigations are underway to establish the origin of the disease and the extent of the spread, if any, to other locations.”

“The Department has been in contact with industry representatives who have been informed of the situation. A meeting with industry representatives has been arranged to discuss the implications for animal movement and the measures appropriate to address the threat posed by the disease”, he added.

A notifiable disease in Ireland since July 2009, Piroplasmosis has not been officially reported in this country before although it is understood that a previous incursion did take place. The disease is present in Mediterranean countries but is not present in the US, Canada, the UK or Australia.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:
- High-resolution images of Tony Killeen, Fianna Fail TD for Clare, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with special responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine, may be downloaded from www.dunphyprimages.com
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR at media@dunphypr.com or 086-8534900

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