The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) is encouraging all breeders to take advantage of its newly revamped Codes of Practice for the prevention and control of disease.

With the non-Thoroughbred breeding season approaching, the board is urging all breeders — not just its traditional racing audience — to study the re-launched codes.

The codes were originally drawn up as a result of an outbreak of contagious equine metritis (CEM) in 1976. First published in 1977, they have been extended to cover equine herpes virus (EHV), equine viral arteritis and strangles, and have been updated and published annually ever since.

In 2003, the Levy Board doubled the funding available for the codes in order for a major revision to be undertaken. Instead of the previous abbreviated and full formats, it was decided one version would be produced, applicable to all breeders.

“Changes to horse breeding, including the use of walking in, artificial insemination and international travel of breeding stock led to the full review,” says John Parker, chairman for the committee responsible for the codes.

The publication was also overhauled in response to an outbreak of CEM in Wiltshire during 2002, and an increased number of paralytic EHV cases during 2003.

The codes have been distributed to the British Horse Society, the Arab Horse Society and all equine colleges and universities. Free copies of the codes, are available from the HBLB (tel: 020 7333 0043).

  • Read the full story in the current issue of Horse & Hound (4 March 2003)

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