09/08/2009 11:00PM

Equine disease found in Ireland

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Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food has reported an outbreak of equine piroplasmosis among Thoroughbreds at an unidentified County Meath horse operation.

The disease is not highly contagious but can spread via ticks or contaminated needles, and infected horses can remain carriers of the disease for several years. Mortality rates vary widely, and infected horses develop anemia, jaundice, and fever.

Irish authorities have placed the affected property under movement restrictions and have arranged to meet with equine industry representatives to "discuss the implications for animal movement and the measures appropriate to address the threat," according to a government press release.