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Equine Infectious Anemia


By Kathleen WinfieldEIA

You might have noticed that equine competitions and events are now beginning to request a negative result Coggins test as part of their requirements for entry in to the competition or event.  If you frequently travel across international borders with equines, you already know that a negative Coggins is required: but do you know why? So – what is a Coggins test and what is it testing for?

A Coggins test is a blood test designed to determine if antibodies are present for the viral disease Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).  A negative result means no antibodies are detected. Blood samples are taken by an accredited veterinarian and the test performed in an accredited laboratory (accreditation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)).

EIA is a persistent and incurable viral disease that attacks the equine immune system, including donkeys and mules. Symptoms of infected equines are highly variable and can resemble other diseases so diagnosis can be difficult without doing the blood test.  Symptoms may include anorexia, fever, depression, small hemorrhages in mucous membranes, swelling of legs, lower chest and abdomen, fatigue, reduced stamina or weakness, rapid breathing and rapid weight loss, jaundice. An infected equine might only exhibit a loss of coordination.  It is also possible that an equine may be a carrier of the disease but not show any symptoms. All horse owners should be aware of EIA, but not alarmed, as the prevalence has remained relatively low in western Canada.

This disease is transmitted by contaminated blood or blood products.  Biting insects such as deer and horse flies are known transmitters of the disease.  This transfer is strictly “mechanical” which means the virus does not replicate itself in the insect – it is contained in the blood from the infected equine that the insect carries on its mouthparts then deposits into the bloodstream of the next equine during the next bite.   The virus only survives a short time on the insects so the disease is generally spread between horses in close proximity.  As these insects thrive in wet areas, outbreaks of EIA have often been linked to horses pastured in swampy areas (thus the nickname of Swamp Fever for this disease).


Hiring: Manager, Horse Industry Association of Alberta


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Manager is responsible for the planning, organizing and administration of all association activities, programs and operations. The Manager is required to develop the resources needed to support the association in achieving its objectives and maintains communication with a diverse group of stakeholders including other industry organizations, media, businesses, government and the public.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities:
• Coordination of annual conference, seminars and events, including sponsorship.
• Tracking of all financial transactions, including payroll, and completion of required reports.
• Budgeting of annual conference, events and projects.
• Writing of funding proposals and follow up reports.
• Assistance at equine horse sales.
• Supervision of office staff and volunteers.
• Writing and layout of monthly e-Newsletter.
• Writing columns for industry publications.
• Participation in board meetings providing updates and reports on all activities.
• Updating of association website.
• Updating of association social media channels.
• Development of educational and promotional displays, booklets, ads and other materials.
• Layout of manuals.
• Liaising and partnering with other industry organizations, businesses and government departments.

• Strong written and verbal communication skills.
• Strong computer skills with experience in the following: Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access; Adobe Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator; Quickbooks; Joomla
• Ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines.
• Experience with accounting practices and principles.
• Experience with using social media for businesses/organizations.
• Design and layout experience preferably in Adobe programs.
• Attention to detail.
• Project management.
• Ability to work independently.
• Supervisory experience, both staff and volunteer.
• Knowledge of horses or the horse industry an asset.

This is a part time position based in Airdrie, Alberta, with the possibility of becoming a permanent full time position. Qualified applicants are encouraged to send a cover letter and resume by August 3, 2015 to both This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Important Note from the Office

Horse Industry Association of Alberta has had some staff changes. Due to this, office hours will be limited over the summer months.  All emails will be answered and phone calls returned but response times may be slower than normal. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience

Importance of the Thoroughbred for the Alberta Economy


Click to see slides presented at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, Alberta Division AGM which highlight the importance of the Thoroughbred to Alberta.

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97 East Lake Ramp NE
Airdrie, AB
T4A 0C3
Phone: 403-420-5949
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