Fabrizius Kill Pen
Details emerge as Colorado investigates the locations of 240 horses exposed to the deadly disease Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA).
“A horse that ran through our lot,… tested positive for coggins, which is EIA...”
Horse slaughter kill buyer Jason Fabrizius of Eaton has not responded to our request for comment.
Colorado State Veterinarian Keith Roehr, DVM tells us he unable to confirm the identity of the Weld County quarantined premises due to the Livestock Security Act. The index horse remains the only EIA positive currently.
A horse transporter unlawfully moved the index horse from Colorado to Wyoming. In the process, dozens of horses were exposed before it returned to Colorado, was retested leading to confirmation of EIA, and euthanasia.
Two premises associated with the quarantine are under a hold order. Similar to a quarantine, the state restricts all livestock movement until 60-day retests confirm there are no EIA positive horses.
Dr. Roehr says he’s not familiar with the term “kill pen,” although emphasizes that the state restricts the movement of livestock. It has no control over individuals when a location is quarantined.
Coggins Test Requirements
The state confirms 100 exposed horses shipped to 20 states nationwide, including Oklahoma, which prompted an epidemiological investigation. In fact, Oklahoma has quarantined two premises, Assistant State Veterinarian Michael Herrin, DVM tells Horse Authority.
Of 140 horses reportedly still in Colorado, the state has located 57 at last count, across 15 premises in 13 counties, according to Dr. Roehr. Some are in Adams, Arapahoe, Crowley, Delta, Douglas, El Paso, Mesa, Montrose, and Weld Counties.
Due to the current level of progress, Dr. Roehr states he is confident they will find “if not all, most of the  horses”…
The deadly disease affects equids, which includes horses, donkeys, and mules. It is a viral disease that attacks the horse’s immune system. Affected horses can carry the disease without symptoms for years. Likewise, they may become acutely or chronically infected.
A Coggins determines if there are antibodies present in the horse’s blood indicating the presence of EIA. Although, Colorado doesn’t require horse sellers to transfer a Coggins to the buyer at the time of horse sale.
Any horses Fabrizius ships into Colorado must have a negative Coggins less than a year old. So, how long do the Fabrizius kill pen horses sit on the lot after shipping in from Montana? If you have purchased one of these horses, you tell us based on your horse’s documents!
Additionally, when transporting horses over state lines, each horse needs a current Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) which is a health certificate. It must accompany the animal along with a current negative Coggins, which, again is required to travel across state lines.
Those that break these laws can face up to a $1,000 fine per horse in Colorado.
Clinical signs of EIA include fever, weakness, weight loss, anemia and edema, and death. All infected equines, including those that are asymptomatic, are carriers of the disease. There is no cure or vaccine to prevent EIA.
Biting insects typically transmit the blood-borne illness. The use of infected needles can also transmit the disease from equine to equine.
There are no treatment options for infected horses so the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires euthanasia or strict lifelong quarantine for EIA positive horses.
To help protect your horses from EIA, veterinarians recommend insect control, good horse facility sanitation, testing new equines with a Coggins before bringing them onto your property, and quarantining new equines for 45 days away from all other horses.
If you may have purchased a horse from July 18 through August 20 in Weld County or would like more information, contact the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office.
You don’t want to miss our upcoming series on the kill pen industry.