Horse Health & Biosecurity

Keeping Horses Healthy and Free from Disease

Here you will find information about keeping horses healthy and the steps you need to take to minimise the spread of infection and disease. This is crucial because disease can put all horses' lives at risk (yours as well as everyone else's) and can affect everything you do with your horse from ability to hack, compete, travel and generally enjoy time with your horses. We are all responsible for horse health, play your part!

Reducing Risk 

There are three simple and inexpensive things every horseowner needs to do to reduce risk, do you do these things?

1. Take your horse's temperature regularly and know what is normal. Any raise in temperature means extra care needs to be taken and if this persists for more than a day, call your vet

2. Make sure that all horses that are new on the yard are kept away from other horses for a week. Does your yard have an isolation place? Read about infectious disease prevention here

3. Make sure your horses are vaccinated every year against tetanus and equine influenza '(flu'). Vaccinations are effective in managing 'flu' whatever you may hear. The more people that vaccinate their horses, the less likely it will be that we will all be affected by disease. At least 70% of horses need to be vaccinated for all our horses to be properly protected, this applies even if your horses don't go anywhere. Are you playing your part in keeping all our horses healthy? Why? See here

Simple Advice

FEI biosecurity guidelines here

Enrol on the FEI Campus biosecurity course here

BEF Biosecurity & Biocontainment guidelines 2018 (inc for events and transport) here

A healthy horse is a happy horse here

Simple infectious disease summary here

Taking care of the small things makes a big difference. Watch these fun (but very important) videos here

Hands On Against Disease here provided by World Horse Welfare

Vet Yard Wallchart Checklist here Provided by British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA)

The HBLB Codes of Practice set out voluntary recommendations to help prevent and control specific diseases in all breeds of horse and pony here

Diseases to Know About

There are many types of disease that can affect horses. We will put them into two categories:

Notifiable diseases - these diseases mean that positive cases need to be notified to the animal health office and goverment gets involved and takes over control of how proven cases are managed.

Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA) here

Non notifiable diseases - we list below the more common ones and provide a simple factsheet about each one because each of us can have a big impact on reducing the spread of these diseases.

Equine Influenza (EI or 'flu') here

Strangles here

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) here

Managing Competitions in the Event of Disease

When disease happens, BEF will assess the risks and provide information and advice on whether competitions or events should be able to carry on. The organisers of these events will let you know.

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