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2001/11/13

Arkansas Requires EIA Verifier At Equine Events by Kevin DeBusk Be prepared to show your coggins papers next time you attend an equine event in Arkansas or you could go to jail. The 2001 Arkansas General Assembly, August 13, passes Act 540 requiring certified EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia) Verifier be present at any equine event that meets criteria. This Act amended Act 1306, which was passed in 1997. The new legislation was brought on after Tammy May, of Paragould, Arkansas complained, in late 2000, to State Senator Wooldridge and sent letter to the state veterinarian's office about lack of coggins testing. Her complaint came after attended horse shows and not having papers checked, Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Robert M. Harbison said. She believed papers should have been check and decided to take action. Arkansas official's estimates between ten and twenty percent of the horses in Arkansas are tested. Since 1977 nearly 10,000 horses, in Arkansas, have been destroyed after tested positive for EIA, state officials report. The amendment was broken down into four areas. She wrote the section requiring certified EIA Verifiers be present at any equestrian event that has a concentration of fifty or more horses, charges an entry few or awards prizes of any kind. It also includes those charging for facilities, including camping, EIA Verifiers are individuals who have completed a verification course co sponsored by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Horse Council. A list of certified individuals is available through the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission. Dr. Harbison reported. The other three amendments were write by Dr. Harbison. Two of those sections were in reference to research and the third on penalties and fines. Previously this area wasn't clear, stated Dr. Harbison. You could have been fined and jailed in the past but the problem wasn't resolve. Now, if found guilty, you have to comply within seven calendar days to all provisions of the subchapter or be found in contempt of court. For more information on EIA legislation contact the Arkansas Horse Council at (870) 446-6226 or Dr. Robert Harbison at (501) 907-2409.

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