The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) welcomes the decision by the British Horseracing Authority to resume racing from Wednesday 13th February.
As there have been no further positive tests since the weekend, after thousands of samples have been tested by the Animal Health Trust, we're cautiously optimistic that the current outbreak of equine flu is relatively contained to a small number of cases.
The BEF continues to closely monitor the situation and assess the risk to health of UK horses whilst in regular consultation with specialist vets and experts in equine influenza and epidemiology with experience of managing previous outbreaks. Their assessment remains that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events subject to local disease status and local veterinary advice.
The BEF continues to urge horse owners to be vigilant for symptoms of equine flu – coughing, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, lethargy – and call their vet if they think their horses are showing signs.
All owners must ensure that their vaccination records are up to date – and if it has been longer than six months since the last vaccination, we recommend you discuss a booster with your veterinary surgeon. As has been demonstrated in this outbreak, vaccinations are vital in tackling the spread of the disease. Therefore we also recommend strongly that unvaccinated horses do not mix with other horses.
Our advice remains that you MUST NOT take your horse to an event or competition if horses at your yard are showing any symptoms of being unwell.
The BEF has produced a Q&A giving further advice on how owners can keep their horses safe.