Monday, January 24, 2011

Coggins Testing in Michigan

Please note, this information is no longer current. Michigan's new requirements for Coggins testing can be found on this blog, August 1, 2011. Click here to go the current rules. Read on, if you want to know what the rules used to be.

We have had a number of inquiries lately about when and why horses need to have a Coggins test done. Each state has their own requirements, but since I live in and practice in Michigan, we will limit our discussion to this state. If you live in, or are travelling to state other than Michigan, you will need to check with that state for their requirements.

Michigan is one of the few states that requires a negative test within the current calendar year. “Current calendar year” is defined as the 13 month period from Dec. 1 through the following Dec 31. If the horse was tested on Nov. 30, then that Coggins would expire in 31 days, on Dec. 31. If that makes sense to you, maybe you could explain it to me.

A Coggins test is a blood test for a contagious viral disease that affects horses called Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). EIA is a disease for which there currently is no treatment or vaccine for. As such, infected horses only serve a source of infection to other horses. Testing is the only method of disease control that is available. The disease is a federally regulated disease which requires the test to be submitted and reported on a federally approved form.

Here is when the state of Michigan requires that your horse have a negative Coggins test:
1. If your horse is entered into a fair, show, exhibition or similar event.
2. If your horse is changing ownership. Any horse consigned to sell at auction must have a negative test before entering the sale.
3. If a horse enters Michigan from another state.
4. If your horse is travelling out of state. This one bears a little further explanation because it really depends on the requirements of the state you are travelling to. If the horse is going to be gone longer than 30 days, then the requirements for travel back into Michigan (current calendar year) apply. If the horse is travelling back within 30 days, then the horse only needs to meet the Coggins testing requirements for the destination state.

A couple of years ago we converted our Coggins forms from the old carbon copy forms to a computer based form that utilizes digital pictures of the horse for identification of the horse. This new method allows for faster turnaround of results, a much neater form, better animal identification (actual picture vs. a drawing on the old forms) and the results come in an electronic format which can be e-mailed. Some clients have really appreciated getting their Coggins tests back by e-mail because then they can print as many copies as they would like (one for the trailer, one for their show book, one for the barn, etc…) Please provide the doctor with a valid e-mail address if you would like your Coggins test sent via e-mail. Click here to see a sample of what the computerized version of the Coggins form looks like.

For more details on Michigan’s requirements for Coggins testing, check out:

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