Petition Legislators to change the requirements for crossing FL line with kill pen horses

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     Thousands of horses are being "saved" from "kill pens" all over the country and they are being shipped across state lines without being properly quarantined.  These horses are bringing in infectious diseases such as Strangles. 

     Strangles is an extremely contagious and serious upper respiratory infection that is spread through direct and indirect contact.  It has a normal incubation period of 3-14 days and infected horses can shed the bacterium for 3 weeks or more.  The abscesses can show up 2 weeks after the incubation period.  Horses can recover within approximately 3 weeks but can remain contagious for 6 weeks or more.  They can also become carriers, carrying the infection in their glands and potentially infect other horses they may come in contact with. 

     Although not normally fatal, Strangles can cause many after effects including inflammation of the heart muscle, anemia, tissue inflammation, and paralysis of the throat muscles causing permanent breathing issues.

    In 2017 there were 41 cases of Strangles in Florida and more than 90% of those cases were directly linked to horses who were shipped in from kill pens. Horses are being carried across our state line without being properly quarantined for a respectful amount of time at a certified quarantine facility to ensure that the incubation period as well as the infectious period have passed thus, putting Florida's equine industry at risk.

     Florida is one of the three states in the U.S. with the largest horse population.  There are more than 500,000 horses in our state and the industry brings in more than 6.5 billion dollars in economic impact on the gross domestic product, when including spending by industry suppliers and employees.

     Florida is well known as an industry leader and a horse capital.  There should be stricter legislation on the transportation of these animals from these so called kill pens in to our state and heftier consequences for those who put the rest of the states equines and related business at risk.  

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