Stop Coggins Slaughter!

Articles on EIA
FACTS on EIA - and Form Letter
Class Action EIA Suit
We Need You to Volunteer
What Can You Do?


The chances your horse is going to die from Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) are slim and none.

The chances your horse is going to die from a Coggins test are very good.



EIA is a viral disease characterized by a hemolytic anemia, depression,intermittent fever and sometimes edema.

Do horses die from it? Sometimes, but rarely.

I asked dozens of veterinarians if they had ever seen a horse die of EIA.

None had. Iíve been a horseowner and trainer for more than 40 years, and Iíve never even seen a horse seriously ill from EIA.

Ask the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) how many horses die from EIA and the answer is "we donít have any idea." Yet it is the Code of Federal Regulations, Diseases in Horses, which provides individual states the opportunity to adopt a quarantine or euthanize (slaughter) means to eradicate the disease.

And most states are doing just that---quarantining and killing useful, apparently healthy horses which test positive for EIA. Has there been eradication of the disease over the last 30 years? Of course not!



Click here to read the full article "Stop Coggins Slaughter!"

Click here to read "More on EIA"

Click here to read "The Latest on EIA"

Click here to read What Are The EIA Facts?


EIA Form Letter
Print this form letter and the 'Three Facts About EIA' flyer (below) and send to your state representative or legislator

Click here for a Printable Flyer
(Scare tactics canít compare to the facts, and the fact is those who advocate the quarantine or slaughter of EIA positive horses never present facts! Ask for facts. Know the truth.)

1. Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is not a threat.

EIA is so insignificant the USDA has no record of annual deaths. The USDA claims .02% of the US horse population is infected. If there are 6.9 million horses, then 138,000 should be diseased. (It is a fact 95% never show symptoms and are never sick and do not infect other horses, so .05% could be seriously ill. If that were true, then 6,900 horses would die of EIA each year in U.S. But that is not happening. And the present quarantine/slaughter program does not protect healthy horses from anything.

2. There is an effective vaccine

Dr. Roger Lloyd, a zoologist in Jacksonville, FL., is a member of the governing board of the American Chinese Veterinary Medical Frontiers, Inc., a corporation which has brought the EIA vaccine to the US for testing. According to Dr. Lloyd, preliminary tests run in China have demonstrated the vaccine to be effective against the American strain of EIA as well as the virulent Chinese strain. We could be using the vaccine.

3. There is a better way to protect horses against EIA

Take a horseís temperature before he is shipped across state lines, or enters a show grounds, rack track or public horse facility. If the horseís temperature is normal, he isnít suffering from EIA, strangles, flu, Rhinopheumonitis or Potomac Horse Fever. The horse with a normal temperature is much safer around other horses than a horse with a negative Coggins test. The Coggins test is only good for 15 seconds. After the blood is drawn, the horse can get infected anytime. Of course, if he does, heíll run a temperature. So letís stop the tragic waste of quarantining or slaughtering hearty, useful, loving horses Ask the director of your state department of agriculture to say, "no" to a senseless, discrimating program. Test for EIA. Euthanize acutely ill horses. Save hearty, useful horses.

A Little More Info on EIA
The disease is self-limiting. Even as the US horse population grows, the number of EIA positive horses decreases. This is true because "inapparent carriers" make up 95% of the infected horses, but these horses do not transmit the disease. (Scientific studies indicate a 1 in 6 million chance an inapparent carrier might contribute to infecting another horse.) In addition, transmission is complicated and difficult. Only certain horse flies transmit the disease by feeding on an infected horse. The feeding process must be interrupted, and the fly must have blood splattered around itís mouth. If, within the next 15 minutes, the fly resumes feeding on a healthy horse, then the disease may be transmitted.

There are "hot" zones for EIA, and percentages are higher in such zones. However, the more horses tested outside the hot zones, the lower the percentage of infected horses. The fact is EIA is insignificant within the entire U.S. horse population. And it is not spreading, it is decreasing.

The argument that quarantine and slaughter can eradicate the disease makes absolutely no sense when you consider there is no effort to test all horses. Only about 20% of US horses are tested, so the program cannot possible work. To advocate such a program only testifies to the ignorance which drives it. The quarantine and slaughter is the fear campaign which keeps the discriminatory testing mandatory and keeps the money flowing into the pockets of veterinarians and testing laboratories. It is time for politicians to be accountable for the financial and emotional losses they are causing.

If EIA was such a terrible threat to horses, then each state would institute an eradication program. But states wonít name, list, develop, try or even suggest "eradication." Why? Money! If a state calls its EIA program an eradication effort, then it becomes responsible for the loss of the property and would have to pay the horse owner the value of the animal euthanized.

Ask your state senator or representative to learn about the stateís EIA program, then ask for and insist on facts:

1. How many acute cases of EIA are there each year? How many horses die annually?

2. If there is no proof an "inapparent carrier" can infect another horse, why kill a healthy, useful horse?

3. If we stop killing or quarantining "inapparent carriers," what will be the projected increase in EIA deaths?

4. Wouldnít it be more effective and less costly in dollars and horsesí lives to simply take a temperature reading on horses crossing state lines or entering public horse areas?
Click here for a Printable Flyer on these EIA Facts


Marty Jo Hays is planning a class action suit on behalf of those who have had to quarantine or kill their EIA positive horses.
Anyone interested in participating should contact Marty Jo Hays, PO Box 449 Eaton, OH 45320, e-mail or call (937) 456-1979


We Need You to Volunteer
We have had tremendous response to our initial efforts to educate, inform and change the government regulations concerning EIA positive horses. We are developing a program now which will target politicians, the ones who can legislate new procedures.

We are going to need volunteers from each state to get a group together to send the form letter we are developing to elected officials in each state. We'll have more details soon.

If you are interested in being the representative for your state, please e-mail us at so we can start building a strong, organized network.


What You Can Do
I have had lots of e-mail in support of my article on EIA. (No mail saying I am wrong, or pointing out how I have missed the point, or simply don't understand why the slaughter of horses is necessary.) Most of those writing have asked, "But what can we do?"

This is what you can do:
Help me gather information and help me spread the word. If you would take the time to call your state representative or your state senator and ask them if they are even aware of the law which mandates the quarantine or slaughter of horses, and then send me the name of the legislator, his or her answer, and the name of your state's veterinarian, I can use the information in upcoming columns.

I will thank you in upcoming columns as "those who have helped" without using your names, unless you want me to.

This battle to stop government from killing our horses simply to generate income for special interests is not going to be easy or short. I want government to recogize a new special interest group--horsemen.

Thanks for asking,
Don Blazer

Click here to find your state's web site


EIA Questionaire
Do you have facts on EIA? We need your help with the following:

Your State

Under what state law is the slaughter of EIA positive horses carried out?

Has the state, by law, mandated the slaughter, or is slaughter within the discretion of the State Veterinarian or the Director of the State Dept. of Agriculture?

What is the criteria--official statement by State Vet or Dir. of Dept. of Agriculture, or mandate by the State Legislation--which sets into motion the necessity to slaughter an animal?

What does the state determine is the threat to the horse population from EIA?

Is there indemnity for horses slaughtered?

Does the state indemnify any other animal slaughtered?

How many horses died from EIA in 1999 or 2000?

How many were tested (total) and how many were positive?

How many horses were euthanized for having tested positive?

How many were quarantined?

What is the total horse population of your state?

What is the state budget for the testing and enforcement of EIA actions?

How many employees involved?

How much does the state spend to eradicate the horse fl which transmits the disease?

Does the state have any prevention program in place?

Do you have, or have you ever had an EIA horse?

Your Email Address:
Please Type Carefully

Your Name

Affiliations with Equine Organizations

Employed by or working for State Government in any capacity

Please verify your information before submitting.


For more information please contact

Copyright © 2003 by
Don Blazer