Two new cases were confirmed yesterday (10 April) in Essex, both horses were euthanised and two other horses that were in contact with the deceased animals have been placed in strict isolation.

So far, the current outbreak of EHV paralytic disease is restricted to the South-East of the country.

Although there are currently no official restrictions imposed by DEFRA and no restrictions on the movement of horses, the BEF’s veterinary director, John McEwen, advises individuals, yards and show organisers to continue their normal activities, but to take “sensible precautions” regarding infected yards or yards in close proximity to an outbreak.

There are three regions currently affected:

  • Sussex
  • Kent and Kent/Surrey borders
  • Gloucestershire
  • Essex

Anyone wishing to travel should first check with organisers that the event is still running, secondly they should make sure that they will not be travelling from an area in close proximity to one of the recent outbreaks.

While at an event try to minimise contact between strange horses and where possible tack up and un-tack in the lorry or trailer.

BHS head of welfare, Kerstin Alford, advises, “Our advice is to monitor your horse’s health closely and take sensible precautions when hacking out or travelling, avoiding any areas where the virus has been confirmed.

“The virus does not spread over long distances through the air and infection is usually passed from horse to horse by contact, but if you are concerned you should contact your vet for further advice.”

For information or advice on the EHV virus, contact the BHS Welfare Dept (tel: 08701 299992) or visit the BHS website at

More information on EHV can also be found on the Animal Health Trust website