After completing a thorough cleaning and disinfection, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will partially reopen the Miami Animal Import Center’s (MAIC) horse quarantine facility on March 11, 2019.
On January 19, 2019, the facility was closed to new arrivals after eight horses became sick between December 17, 2018, and January 25, 2019. All eight showed signs of lameness and received immediate medical treatment. Four of the horses died and the other four recovered. On January 16, 2019, APHIS announced the temporary closure of the MAIC as a precautionary measure, but horses under quarantine were allowed to complete their stay at the facility. At the time, veterinary experts suspected salmonella as the cause of illness, however, subsequent testing has not identified any causative disease agent present in the Center.
APHIS officials took more than 180 environmental samples at the facility, and all were negative for salmonella. In addition, affected animals were tested for a variety of diseases, such as E. coli, equine influenza, equine herpesvirus, Aeromonas caviae, Torovirus, Coronavirus, Lawsonia intracellularis, Neorickettsia risticii, and Clostridium ssp and toxins. The tests did not pinpoint the causative agent.