You may ask why I would write about the EDCC in an equine law blog? Many states including Oklahoma have laws that require horse owners to take certain steps to prevent the spread of disease. For example, a horse boarding facility could have liability if a boarding horse is injured or dies because the facility failed to screen for equine communicable diseases when a new horse is brought on to the property
At one time Equine Infectious Anemia was responsible for the death of many horses. As a result, States enacted statutes designed to control and eradicate, if possible, this highly contagious disease. See the Oklahoma Equine Infectious Anemia Eradication Act – Okla. Stat. tit. 2, § 6-281. This Act carries misdemeanor penalties for failure to follow the law outlined in the statues. So as it pertains to equine infectious anemia, a horse owner could face not only civil liability but also criminal liability if an infected horse is not properly screened and quarantined.
According to the EDCC website,
The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) works to protect horses and the horse industry from the threat of infectious diseases in North America. The communication system is designed to seek and report real time information about disease outbreaks similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerts the human population about diseases in people.
How can a horse owner stay on top of equine diseases in his or her area? Signing up for email alerts from the EDCC is a good way to stay on top of equine communicable disease is your area.