Representatives of every part of the British equestrian industry have held a meeting in London to review the position of the horse prepare a protocol to minimise the transmission of foot and mouth disease.
Dr James Wood, Head of Epidemiologyat the Animal Health Trust, and Dr Peter Webbon, Senior Veterinary Advisor to the Jockey Club, set out the implications for the horse in all spheres of the industry and made it clear that:
It was agreed that a detailed protocol was necessary, supported by guidance and background information. The protocol was to be circulated to the community at large and the equestrian organisations.
These agreements were made, having recognised the absolute need of the farming industry, while accepting that a carefully managed hygiene programme enables some activity to take place in low risk areas.
James Wood, speaking for the Industry as a whole said: “It is important thatthe industry can speak with one voice at this difficult time. Representatives from racing, breeding, the sport horse world and the charities are united, having consulted MAFF and other scientific specialists. We are confident that limited, controlled activity can take place with no increased risk of transmission. We will review the position and publish further guidance as it becomes necessary”.
It was recognised that these guidelines would result in restrictions to some equestrian activities.
The essential recommendations to follow are:
Strict hygiene precautions must include:
Where horses are kept on premises with other susceptible livestock
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Representatives from the organisations below attended the meeting and fully supported all of the guidelines produced:
The British Equine Veterinary Association,
The British Equestrian Federation,
The British Horse Industry Confederation,
The Thoroughbred Breeders Association,
The Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
The National Trainers Federation,
The Masters of Foxhounds Association,
The National Office of Animal Health,
The Hurlingham Polo Association,
Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain,
The Newmarket Stud Farmers Association,
Greenwood Ellis and Partners (Veterinary Surgeons),
Rossdale and Partners (Veterinary Surgeons),
Fellowes Equine Clinic (Veterinary Surgeons),
The European Breeders Fund,
The Horserace Betting Levy Board,
The British Horseracing Board,
The Racehorse Owners Association,
The Racecourses Association,
The Jockey Club,
The British Show Jumping Association,
The Pony Club,
The Federation International Equestre,
The Racehorse Transporters Association