THE Countryside Alliance is calling for the Government to test horses for infectious diseases before they are imported to the UK.

This follows an outbreak of the potentially fatal swamp fever in Wiltshire.

But horse owners in Worcestershire and Herefordshire have been told not to panic after the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed that equine infectious anaemia (EIA), otherwise known as swamp fever, was found in two horses imported from the continent.

The infected animals – which arrived in a group of 10 from Romania and Belgium – have been humanely destroyed.

EIA has not been imported into Britain for more than 30 years so the news has come as something of a shock.