UPDATE: A quarantine affecting the Josephine County Fairgrounds has been lifted, according to Fairground Director Peggy Anderson.
In a statement, Anderson said that Dr. Brad LeMaster notified the Fairgrounds this afternoon that the quarantine was no longer necessary. LeMaster is the State Authorized Animal Health Official for ODA.
The quarantine had included the Fairgrounds' racing facility, stalls, and arenas. All of these will now be open to new horses, donkeys and mules. Animals that were unable to leave the area during the quarantine can now be taken out.
(Updated as of 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, June 7)
UPDATE: According to ODA, the horse that tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia is a 7-year-old Quarter Horse that is currently housed at the Grants Pass Downs at the County Fairgrounds. Officials are currently conducting further tests to confirm the presence EIA.
In a statement, ODA specified that the horse comes from a farm in southern Oregon, and there is no known history of interstate travel for the animal.
According to ODA, owners, facility managers and officials have been cooperating fully with the quarantine.
All horse owners are encouraged to establish good biosecurity practices such as avoiding sharing needles and syringes among horses, according to ODA. Concerned owners should contact their veterinarian to discuss EIA testing details.
(Updated as of 10:15 a.m. on Friday, June 1)
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Josephine County Fairgrounds are facing a quarantine ordered by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), according to a statement from Fairgrounds Director Peggy Anderson.
The quarantine comes due to a positive Coggins test—which detects antibodies to the disease Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), most infected horses show no symptoms, but remain contagious for life.
For horses that do catch the disease and exhibit symptoms, the AAEP says, it is a potentially fatal viral disease for horses, donkeys and mules—causing the immune system's antibodies to attack red blood cells and eventually damage vital organs.
As a precaution, all horse facilities at the County Fairgrounds are part of the quarantine. That means the racing facility, all stalls and all arenas. Private borders will have to keep their horses at the Fairgrounds until the all-clear is given, and no new horses will be admitted.
Anderson said that they believe the quarantine will only be short-term, although they did not include a solid time frame.
According to Anderson, the Josephine County Board of Commissioners, Josephine County Fair Board, the Oregon Racing Commission, SOHRA, 4-H Extension, Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Management, Animal Control and Josephine County Public Health have all been notified of this situation.