Horse Health & Biosecurity

Horse Health and Hygiene (Biosecurity)

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!

**Equine Flu Vaccination Advice**

The BEF continues to urge all horse owners to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date. This is vital to help prevent the spread of Equine Flu. If it has been more than six months since the last vaccination, we strongly recommend that owners discuss a booster with their veterinary surgeon.

The BEF also continues to strongly recommend that all competition and event organisers check the Equine ID Passports of all attending horses to ensure that they comply with vaccination rules.

The latest on Equine Flu outbreaks - as reported by the Animal Health Trust - can be found here.

The BEF has also compiled a Q&A with the latest advice for owners.

**Equine Flu 2 May 2019 UPDATE**

The Equine Flu outbreak continues with more cases reported throughout April. BEF continues to urge owners to ensure their horses' vaccination records are up to date and that they have a booster every six months. Details here

**Equine Flu 29 March 2019 UPDATE**

A flurry of outbreaks of Equine Flu, as reported by the Animal Health Trust, underlines the importance of keeping vaccination records up to date. Latest from the BEF.

**Equine Flu 8 March 2019 UPDATE**

The BEF continues to recommend to shows and event organisers that they do all the can to prevent the spread of Equine Flu. Details here.

**Equine Flu 1 March 2019 UPDATE**

The BEF reminds event organisers of the vital role they play in preventing the spread of Equine Flu. Details here.

**Equine Flu 1 March 2019 UPDATE**

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) continues to monitor the outbreak of Equine Influenza (EI) and continues to urge all equine owners to make sure their vaccination records are up to date.

The BEF has also issued the following advice to try to maximise the immunity of young foals against EI.

  1. We urge all owners to adhere to strict biosecurity protocols at all times.
  2. Vaccinations are subject to local risk assessments by the attending veterinarians.
  3. In-foal mares that have already had vaccinations of primary EI course should be vaccinated 4-6 weeks before the foal is due to be born.
  4. Foals should be vaccinated for EI at 6 months to commence their primary course.

**Equine Flu 18 February 2019 UPDATE**

As more positive tests are reported, the BEF warns against unvaccinated horses mixing with other equines and how some venues are now introducing extra precautionary measures. Details here

**Equine Flu 15 February 2019 UPDATE**

More positive tests for equine flu. The BEF urges organisers to check equine ID passports of all attending horses. Find more details here

**Equine Flu 14 February 2019 UPDATE**

There have been more positive tests for equine flu. Some venues require horses to have been vaccinated within the last 6 months. Find more details here

**Equine Flu 13 February 2019 UPDATE**

Read the latest update and advice after 3 more positive tests for equine flu here

**Equine Flu 12 February 2019 UPDATE**

Read today's update, advice and information here

**Equine Flu Q&A**

Equine Flu Q&A updated 22 Feb

Equine Flu advice

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 the temperature goes above 38.5C ring your veterinary surgeon immediately.

2. Make sure that all horses that are introduced to your yard are kept away from other horses for a for a period of time (ideally in isolation facilities for 3 weeks). This may be varied in line with consultation with your local vet.

3. Make sure your horses are vaccinated every year against 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. This applies even if your horses don't go anywhere. Are you playing your part in keeping all our horses healthy? 

Simple Advice

FEI biosecurity guidelines here

Enrol on the FEI Campus biosecurity course here

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

Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) 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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