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Equine Disease Reporting Requirements Across The United States

I try to follow what equine diseases are going around the country so that I can be prepared if there is something concerning in a neighboring state. The problem I have is that my state is one that does not report many of the diseases that are concerning to me. Equine disease reporting requirements vary drastically from state to state.

In my extensive research, I have made some notable observations that you might find interesting. In this article, I discuss the equine disease reporting requirements from a few of the states focusing on the implications of these regulations in states with significant equine industries, including those with prominent racing programs, and contrasting them with states having lower equine economic impacts and different management strategies for wild horse populations.

States with Large Racing Programs and High Equine Economic Impact

States like Kentucky, California, and Florida are renowned for their horse racing industries and have accordingly extensive disease reporting requirements. These states’ lists include a wide range of diseases, reflecting the high stakes associated with their equine industries. These states rely on the economic impact of the equine industry so to protect themselves they have higher standards.


Kentucky, the heartland of American horse racing, mandates reporting diseases like EHV-1 (in various forms), Equine Infectious Anemia, and Vesicular Stomatitis. The comprehensive nature of Kentucky’s reporting requirements underlines its commitment to protecting a multibillion-dollar industry that hinges on the health and performance of thoroughbred horses.


California’s list is particularly exhaustive, including diseases like African Horse Sickness and Hendra Virus. This breadth of reporting requirements in California can be attributed to its diverse equine activities, including racing, breeding, and leisure riding, necessitating vigilant monitoring to prevent outbreaks that could have catastrophic economic and animal welfare consequences.


Florida, with its year-round racing and breeding activities, and the large number of winter horse training facilities,  also has stringent reporting requirements. The state’s focus on diseases like Equine Viral Arteritis and Strangles demonstrates its proactive approach to safeguarding its valuable equine population.

States with Lower Equine Economic Impact

In contrast, states like Alaska, Idaho, and Maine, which have a lower economic impact from equines, have more streamlined disease reporting requirements. These states prioritize diseases that pose a significant threat to equine health but may not have the resources or need to monitor as wide a range of diseases as the more equine-centric states.


Alaska’s list, for instance, includes EHV-1 (Neurological form) and Equine Infectious Anemia, focusing on diseases that could have severe health implications for its smaller equine population.


Idaho, while having a significant number of equines, does not have a large racing industry. Its disease reporting focuses on key diseases like West Nile Virus and Rabies, reflecting the state’s emphasis on diseases with potential public health implications.


Maine, with a more recreational equine scene, also has a relatively concise list, focusing on diseases like Eastern Encephalitis and Lyme Disease, which are relevant to the region’s ecological conditions.

States Managing BLM Mustang Herds

States managing Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mustang herds, such as Nevada and Wyoming, face unique challenges. Their reporting requirements reflect the need to protect both wild and domestic equine populations.


Nevada, home to a significant number of BLM-managed mustangs, includes diseases like Lyme Disease and Potomac Horse Fever in its reporting requirements. These diseases are crucial for managing wild horse populations and preventing spillover into domestic herds.


Wyoming, similarly, has a focus on diseases like Equine Viral Arteritis and Leptospirosis, balancing the health needs of wild mustangs with those of the state’s domestic equine population.

Diseases Absent from Some State Lists

The absence of certain diseases like Lyme Disease, strangles, and Leptospira from some states’ lists is notable. This absence could be due to regional variations in disease prevalence or a perceived lower risk to the local equine industry. However, the potential economic and health impacts of these diseases becoming pandemic in such states could be significant, particularly in regions with dense equine populations or those heavily reliant on equine-related activities.

States with a lower economic impact from the equine industry are less worried about the equine industry and therefore put fewer reporting requirements on their State Department of Agriculture. As a horse owner, it is my responsibility to do what I can to keep my horses safe from communicable diseases. Since I live in one of these states with lower reporting requirements, I monitor diseases in my neighboring states that have stricter requirements.

Protecting Against Non-Listed Diseases

For individuals in the equine industry, protecting against non-listed diseases is crucial. This protection involves regular veterinary check-ups, staying informed about emerging equine health threats, and implementing strict biosecurity measures on farms and facilities. Vaccinations are crucial for the health and welfare of all horses, not just their own. Responsible horse owners should always vaccinate their horses. Monitoring state and national equine health reports is essential for early detection of potential outbreaks.


The variation in equine disease reporting requirements across states reflects the diverse needs and priorities of each region’s equine industry. States with large racing programs or significant equine economic impacts tend to have more comprehensive reporting requirements. In contrast, others with lower impacts or different management strategies, like those overseeing BLM mustang herds, tailor their lists to their specific needs. The absence of certain diseases from state lists underscores the importance of individual vigilance and proactive health management strategies. This approach is essential to protect equine populations from both listed and non-listed diseases, ensuring the continued health and economic viability of this vital industry. To learn what equine diseases are required to be reported in your state Click Here.

You can read more articles on Horse Care Here. My horse training journey has brought me from winning world titles to now trying to make every horse the best they can be and to help you improve your equestrian knowledge.


2 thoughts on “Equine Disease Reporting Requirements Across The United States”

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