UPDATE: EI vaccination

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:47

The BD Board has now agreed and released a process for owners of horses who experience severe reactions to their equine influenza vaccinations to apply for dispensation for the requirement of a six monthly booster.

Following the introduction of the new revision to the vaccination rules for competing with British Dressage to include the requirement of a vaccine booster within six months + 21 days, a number of members made contact to request a process to apply for exemption. It was reviewed and agreed in the best interests of equine welfare by the Board. Members whose horses have experienced severe reactions (laminitis, neurological issues, off work for a week or more, etc.) may now apply for an exemption for that six month requirement.

All horses competing under BD rules must comply with the minimum vaccination requirements, no dispensation will be given, only the six monthly booster.

Dispensation process:

• Download the application form and complete fully with your veterinarian. Complete as fully as you can and make sure you and your vet sign. Any accompanying evidence must be included and please include full contact information for your vet as they may be contacted by the panel as part of their review. A fee of £50 is required to fund process.
• A dispensation panel has been formed consisting of John McEwen MBE – BEF Director of Equine Sports Science and Medicine (Chair), Jenny Hall – Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee, Jane Nixon MA VETMB BSC MRCVS and with specialist advice from Philip Ivens RCVS and EBVS Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine. The panel will meet in April and October each year. However as this is new initiative, the panel will meet as soon as an adequate number of applications are received so please apply as soon as you can.
• The panel will review each case and evidence thoroughly and make a judgement to grant dispensation or not. The BD office will notify the owner as soon as a decision is made.
• If given, dispensation lasts 12 months and must be re-applied for annually.

Download a dispensation form:

.doc version

If you have further questions:

email the Membership Experience Team

If you missed our first ever BD Ask the expert episode which focused on Equine Influenza Vaccination, you can watch it here:

If you want to move on to specific content:

First minute - welcome and introductions
1.55 - Scene setting - the 2019 epidemic in summary
10.45 - The vaccination process - how and why
20.15 - Explanation of the rule revision
23.00 - Q1 Where is the evidence that vaccinating horses every six months has been tested sufficiently to say that it will have a positive effect and achieve the desired result?
28.45 - Q2 My vaccine says it lasts at least 12 months, why should I do six months?
29.05 - Q3 Should we be looking at titre testing so that only horses that need vaccines are being vaccinated? 
30.50 - Q4 What can owners do to try to prevent or minimise a reaction to the vaccination?
35.20 - Q5 I understand there is a dispensation process for horses who have extreme reactions to their flu vaccination, what does this involve? Read the news item for more detail.
38.35 - Q6 Why aren’t DEFRA, governing bodies and vets doing more to get the unvaccinated horses vaccinated? 
43.28 - Q7 Making the rule work for you
44.45 - Jane's final comment