BEF update: 14 April

  • Written By: British Equestrian Federation
  • Published: Tue, 14 Apr 2020 17:40 GMT

New guidance for equine vets

Following an announcement by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) on Thursday 10 April, the British Equestrian Veterinary Association (BEVA) released new guidance to its members that comes into force today (14 April) and remains in place until further notice.

BEVA and its members are working hard to provide vital 24-hour emergency service, and recognise the need to provide essential services to safeguard animal health and welfare during the lockdown.

In doing so, it’s vital for veterinary practices and vets to:

·       work in ways that prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus

·       protect themselves, their colleagues and their clients

·       protect the NHS 

·       keep veterinary and allied businesses working and viable 

BEVA stress that the number of clients seen face-to-face should be kept to an absolute minimum and it’s certainly not a case of ‘business as usual’. However, the RCVS has produced a flowchart to help vets make the decision whether or not to undertake any non-urgent work.

BEVA is advising vets to fully assess the factors, the timing and the risk to animal and human health prior to any ambulatory visits to perform procedures or treatment, and BEVA has provided guidance on carrying out full risk assessments. All such assessments should be recorded in writing.

If, once the assessments are carried out and the vet is satisfied any risk can be managed, BEVA have produced a client factsheet to be sent ahead of the vet’s visit to the owner. Government guidelines should be adhered to at all times by the vet and client.

To allow horse owners to help the vet through the process, BEVA has produced a series of educational videos in order to ‘triage’ their horse’s condition ahead of a phone consultation. Checking vital signs, colic, laminitis, wounds and eyes and breathing problems are all covered. The answers any horse owner can provide will assist a vet in making the key decisions to attend, so please watch and use them – help your vet to help you while keeping you both safe.

Help measure the impact of COVID-19 on the equine industry

Two providers have launched online surveys to provide an accurate picture of how the equestrian industry has been impact on by the pandemic.

XV Impact is independently assessing the impact on horse ownership in general, using a questionnaire that should take 10–15 minutes to complete. They’ll share the findings with the industry and public.

The British Grooms Association (BGA) and Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) have launched a survey to look at employment in particular, and input is welcome from any workers, equine businesses and yard owners

Transporting horses and goods to/from France

Anyone who operates essential travel for import/export in France should be aware that there is now a new requirement for all entering the country. A travel declaration must be completed, which highlights the nature of your journey.