BEF Equine Flu update Friday 22 Feb

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 13:46

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) continues to closely monitor the equine flu outbreak and notes the latest update from the Animal Health Trust that there have been positive tests in Yorkshire, Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Kent. 

Throughout this outbreak the BEF has urged equine owners to ensure their horses' vaccination records are up to date. If it has been longer than six months since their last vaccination we strongly recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

The BEF continues to urge all competition and training event organisers to check the equine ID passports of all horses to make sure they comply with vaccination rules (see below). A number of event organisers have put extra precautionary measures in place – as they are perfectly entitled to. The BEF continues to remind all participants that they should check venue requirements before they set out.

BD members are reminded to have their passports ready for checking at competitions as full or spot examinations may take place. Please make sure your vaccination record meets the requirements as laid out in rule 9 (see below), if your horse has not had a vaccination within the past six months, we'd urge you to consider discussing a booster with your vet. Please remember that, under BD rules, the full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before the competition.

BD members are reminded:

Any horses competing under BD rules at any level must be fully vaccinated.
Rule 9 (p58 of the 2019 Members’ Handbook) states: To protect the health of the other competing horses and the biosecurity of the venue, a valid passport must accompany the horse to all competitions and be produced on request. Failure to comply is a disciplinary offence and will debar the horse from competing at the event for which it has been entered. A horse will not be permitted to compete unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions: 

  • An initial course of two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete.
  • A first booster injection must be given between 150 and 215 days after the second injection of primary vaccination.
  • Subsequent booster injections must be given at intervals of not more than one calendar year, commencing after the first booster injection.
  • The full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before the competition.

The vaccination record(s) in the horse’s passport, must be completed, signed and stamped line by line, by an appropriate veterinary surgeon (who is neither the owner nor the rider of the horse). For those competing under FEI rules, please refer to FEI rules.

The responsibility to comply with this rule lies with the competitor who should consult with their veterinarian. If you're unsure if your vaccination dates are correct, the BHA has a helpful online checker.

As stated above, members are advised to give their horses a booster if they have not had one in the previous six months but please remember the seven day rule.

It’s law that your horse’s passport accompanies it at all times, this includes travelling – you’re liable for an unlimited fine if you can’t show a valid horse passport. Currently, we advise that you make sure you have the passport and full vaccination record ready to present at the venue when competing as there may be spot checks carried out.

Organisers are permitted to request passports to check vaccinations comply with rule 9. If your horse’s vaccination record does not meet the requirements, you will not be permitted to compete.