Why a Coggins?
Requiring proof of a current negative Coggins Test at all TROT functions is not just a whim on our part. It is, in fact, the law of the State of Maryland.
Dr. Roger Olson, State Veterinarian Maryland Dept. of Agriculture, explains that all states do not have the same extensive testing program as Maryland for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), the disease we test for each year with our annual Coggins Test. And although the incidents of the disease has been minimal in our home state, it is more prevalent in some southern states, Texas and Louisiana among them.
What is the Requirement?
COMAR 15.11.1 requires all horses entering the state of Maryland to be accompanied with a test report indicating a negative Coggins within the last 12 months. COMAR 15.11.12 requires that all horses sold or change of ownership must have a current negative Coggins. A copy of the Coggins Test is not required to be carried on the horse or rider, but must be made available for inspection upon request.
These regulations are enforced by the Maryland State Dept. of Agriculture. Dr. Olson stated that efforts are made to make on-site visits to public events to ensure compliance with the state law; however, those visits are often precluded by the lack of available staff. The Dept. of Agriculture randomly and periodically conducts inspections of event coordinator's records to ensure compliance with the law.
What it means to You
Therefore, you can expect the host of weekend TROT rides and any future TROT competition managers to ask to see a copy of your horse's current negative Coggins. The event coordinator only needs to verify that the negative Coggins Test is current and will record (write down on a list) the certificate's accession number.
Law enforcement personnel from the Maryland State Police and other agencies may also enforce the Coggins requirements.
A CURRENT NEGATIVE COGGINS TEST is required of all participants in TROT events. For more information about state regulations, call the State Veterinarian's office at (410)841-5810.