UPDATE 18:30: Equine flu info and advice
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Update issued 18:30 - Further to the announcement by the British Horseracing Authority that horseracing will continue to be suspended until Wednesday 13 February, the British Equestrian Federation can confirm that our veterinary advice remains that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events at this time.
However we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will issue further updates once the full extent of this outbreak is known.
We again urge all owners to be vigilant and follow the guidelines set out in our previous statement as a precaution. We recommend owners seek veterinary advice if necessary and ensure that all vaccinations are up to date.
Following British Horseracing’s decision to cancel all racing today (7 February) the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and British Dressage (BD) are closely monitoring the situation. Veterinary experts have advised that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events at this time, but we will issue a further update once the full extent of the outbreak is known.
In the meantime, we recommend that all owners follow the guidelines below as a precaution and ensure that all vaccinations are fully up to date. If your horse is currently vaccinated, we recommend a booster if it has been longer than six months since your horse’s last vaccination.
Please note, however, that (as stated within Rule 9 on page 59 of the BD Members' Handbook) the full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before the competition.
Actions for owners to take:
• It’s crucial for all horse and pony owners to be vigilant and follow recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this infectious disease.
• Look out for signs of disease which can include high temperature, cough, snotty nose, enlarged glands (under the lower jaw), swollen or sore eyes, depression, loss of appetite and swelling in the lower legs.
• If you see any of these signs, isolate the horse and call your vet immediately.
• It’s essential that any horses showing signs of possible equine flu, or horses that might have been in contact with possibly infected horses, do not travel to competitions or other events where there will be groups of horses. If your horse has been in contact with an infected horse we suggest that you should take veterinary advice.
• We advise that horses are vaccinated with a booster for equine flu with a vaccine that contains the Florida Clade 1. If your horse is currently vaccinated, but it has been longer than six months since the last vaccination, we recommend that you discuss a booster with your veterinary surgeon.
The BEF also has guidance on its websites regarding equine infectious diseases and is urging owners to take the necessary precautions to avoid their horses becoming infected.