New Technology to Aid Movement of Horses Globally GlobalVetLink eEIA System Now Recognized by USDA for Exports

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An Internet-based business designed to allow animal health authorities to track and regulate animal movement nationally has developed technology now recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for international shipments of horses.

Electronic laboratory forms carrying equine infectious anemia (EIA), or Coggins, test results are now being accepted by federal health officials on horses moving to other countries. In a letter dated May 15 from the USDA Veterinary Services deputy administrator, GlobalVetLink, L.C., was informed that its electronic equine infectious anemia (eEIA) system in paper format for exports can be used for international shipments. Previously the eEIA lab forms were only recognized by USDA for movement within a state or between states.

“USDA’s recognition of the GlobalVetLink eEIA form will be substantially beneficial to equine practitioners in the U.S.,” said president and founder Kevin D. Maher. “The multi-tiered paper system used for years to track and regulate animal movement in the U.S. can be cumbersome, time-consuming and invites inaccuracies.” Horse owners, veterinarians, diagnostic laboratories and animal health authorities should all reap benefits from a more streamlined process, he said.

Horse owners moving animals for exhibition, pleasure, sale or other reasons must be able to produce proof of a negative EIA test. The form is a supplement to the federal health certificate required for international movements.

Benefits of the GVL system include clean, clear and professional forms, real-time automatic submission of documents to animal health authorities, secure storage of certificates for reference anytime, around-the-clock access with an internet connection and real-time lab test submittal and result retrieval. GVL’s eEIA system also provides three digital photographs of the horse directly inserted on the certificate.

Headquartered in Ames, Iowa, GlobalVetLink has created the primary web-based platform for animal health regulatory officials and practicing veterinarians. The GVL system connects all 50 states with real-time animal movement, thus eliminating tedious, outdated paper methods.

According to Maher, the movement of over 69 million animals has been documented since 2001 when GVL launched its on-line application allowing practitioners, state authorities, diagnostic laboratories and other health officials, to build access and monitor animal movement documents all by the click of a mouse.

“Our subscriber base is growing weekly and on track to double every year,” said Maher, who predicts paper health certificates and EIA forms will be obsolete within the next decade. “We hope to offer efficiency improvements through utilization of web-based applications in every aspect of the animal health world someday.”

Accredited veterinarians with clients shipping horses internationally are encouraged to contact GlobalVetLink Technical Support at 515-296-3779 for more information on this and other GVL products.

GlobalVetLink, L.C. is a privately owned technology company that uniquely specializes in regulatory applications for veterinarians and state animal health officials. The company’s products include online certificates of veterinary inspection (health certificates), web based eEIA certification system for veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories, system interface into diagnostic laboratory and practice management software system via GlobalVetLink’s regulatory application system.

EIA is a viral disease of members of the horse family. The equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is categorized as a retrovirus: it contains genetic RNA material, which it uses to produce DNA. This DNA is then incorporated into the genetic makeup of infected cells. Identified in France in 1843 and first tentatively diagnosed in the United States in 1888, EIA has commanded a great deal of attention over the years. There is no vaccine or treatment for the disease. It is often difficult to differentiate from other fever-producing diseases, including anthrax, influenza, and equine encephalitis. Source: USDA.

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Tiffany Obrecht
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