Canada has now banned the entry of all horses originating from Florida because of the resurgence of a rare horse disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.
The ban, originally posted on Aug. 28, covered only horses from Manatee County after a horse fell sick with equine piroplasmosis, a blood-borne disease, eradicated from the United States in 1988.
That 7-year-old gelding quarter horse and several of the horses who tested positive have been euthanized, said Terence McElroy, Florida Department of Agriculture spokesman.
All of the positive horses have been linked to the first sick horse, who investigators now know was infected by a carrier horse from Mexico.
Since then, the disease has been found in horses in DeSoto, Hendry, Lake and Miami-Dade counties, the Florida Department of Agriculture reports.
Among the 162 horses tested, 20 have been found positive, which means they are carriers for the disease, which is transmitted by a species of tick or the use of common needles to inject multiple horses. Agriculture inspectors have placed 19 properties in the five-county area under quarantine.
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