Following British Horseracing’s decision to cancel all racing today (7 February) the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is closely monitoring the situation. Veterinary experts have advised that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events at this time, but we will issue a further update once the full extent of the equine flu outbreak is known.
In the meantime, we recommend that all owners follow the guidelines below as a precaution and ensure that all vaccinations are fully up to date. If your horse is currently vaccinated, we recommend a booster if it has been longer than 6 months since your horse’s last vaccination.
Actions for owners to take:
It is crucial for all horse and pony owners to be vigilant and follow recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this equine flu outbreak.
Look out for signs of disease which can include high temperature, cough, snotty nose, enlarged glands (under the lower jaw), swollen or sore eyes, depression, loss of appetite and swelling in the lower legs.
If you see any of these signs, isolate the horse and call your vet immediately.
It is essential that any horses showing signs of possible equine flu outbreak, or horses that might have been in contact with possibly infected horses, do not travel to competitions or other events where there will be groups of horses. If your horse has been in contact with an infected horse we suggest that you should take immediate veterinary advice.
We advise that horses are vaccinated with a booster for equine flu outbreak with a vaccine that contains the Florida Clade 1. There are two such vaccines currently licensed in the UK, ProteqFlu and Equilis Prequenza. If your horse is currently vaccinated, but it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we recommend that you discuss a booster with your veterinary surgeon.
The BEF also has guidance on its website regarding equine infectious diseases and is urging owners to take the necessary precautions to avoid their horses becoming infected.