Latest News – Equine Influenza 11/2/2019
The BEF continues to monitor closely the equine flu situation.
The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) can confirm that our veterinary advice remains that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events at this time subject to local disease status and local veterinary advice. If in doubt, consult your local vet.
To see all the latest advice regarding the equine flu please do visit the BEF website.
Latest news on the equine flu situation from the BHS
Further to the announcement by the British Horse Racing Authority that horseracing will continue to be suspended until Wednesday February 13th, the British Equestrian Federation confirm that their veterinary advice remains that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events at this time subject to local disease status and local veterinary advice. If in doubt, consult your local vet.
If attending any events, clinics or shows it is vital to remain extra vigilant and be sensible in taking hygiene precautions. We strongly urge all organisers to ensure passports are being checked for up to date flu vaccinations where events are taking place. Unfortunately, we have heard reports of many events and gatherings of horses which are taking place but no checks, or spot checks, of vaccinations are being completed.
The BEF urges all owners to be vigilant and follow recommended guidelines set out here as a precaution. We recommend owners seek local veterinary advice to resolve any queries, and ensure that all vaccinations are up to date.
The BEF has also produced a Q&A giving the latest advice on how owners can keep their horses safe.
Advice for horse owners
Gemma Stanford, Director of Welfare for The British Horse Society said:
“We are aware of today’s news regarding the Equine Influenza outbreaks and we urge all owners to be extra vigilant of the clinical signs of the virus.
“Clinical signs of influenza include:
- The sudden onset of a dry, harsh cough which can continue for two to three weeks and potentially persist for longer
- A raised temperature which lasts around 7 – 10 days
- A nasal discharge that is initially clear but becomes thick and purulent
- Loss of appetite
“Diseases such as equine influenza are debilitating and can have serious implications for horses, especially young foals, elderly animals or those with pre-existing respiratory disorders.
“You should contact your vet immediately if you have any concerns.”
Advice for those riding out or carriage driving
The British Horseracing Authority has taken the decision to cancel racing at all British racecourses today Thursday 7th February, following three confirmed Equine Influenza positives from vaccinated horses in an active racing yard.
All riders and carriage drivers need to be extra vigilant to prevent the spread of the disease further.
Before riding out please assess where you plan to ride or carriage drive and try to avoid riding close to other horses. Equine influenza is an airborne disease and can easily be spread.
When exercising your horse, you are strongly advised not to use routes which pass close to other horses, and to try to use alternative routes where possible. Exercising at quiet times of the day or planning locally with fellow riders to avoid contact and passing will help reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease. This also applies to places you travel to ride or drive.
Read here for more information on the signs of Equine Influenza: