Late yesterday the Animal Health Trust issued an update on the outbreak of equine flu. As a result, trainers should take extra care about biosecurity to prevent the infection entering their yard.
Your first point of reference is the NTF’s Code of Practice for Infectious Diseases and associated Bio-Security Guidelines. These are found in the Horse Welfare section of the Members Area on our website. You can also check them on the EquiBioSafe app, which can be downloaded on both Apple and Android mobile devices.
With the increased threat to thoroughbreds in training, you should take precautions about service providers (e.g. farriers, vets, para-professionals) entering your premises and mixing with the horses. Ask where they have been prior to arriving at your yard. Consider providing clean over-clothing for them. Don’t forget to include headwear as a potential carrier of disease. Find out if any of your staff visit other equestrian premises or mix with other horses whose health status is unknown. New horses entering a yard should be isolated for a period of 14 days.
Vaccinations – the strong recommendation is to give an equine flu vaccination booster to any of your horses that have not received one in the last six months. Obviously this will depend on when the horse is likely to be racing next. It is a recommendation, not a rule.
Be vigilant. Confirmed cases must be reported to the British Horseracing Authority – this can be done via the EquiBioSafe App or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 7152 0009.