As the mandatory requirement for self-certification forms for competitions comes to an end the equestrian community is being encouraged to keep the forms in place to protect horses.
Last week British Equestrian’s (BEF) Equine Infectious Diseases Action Group (EIDAG) advised that the UK’s EHV-1 risk had dropped to near “normal” levels, but reminded owners that as EHV is an endemic disease, the risk it poses to the UK equine population is continuous.
As part of the measures put in place to mitigate the risk of the European outbreak reaching the UK, on 18 March BEF and its member bodies introduced equine health self-certification forms on the EIDAG’s advice.
“The process was implemented at short notice and was mandated for all British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping competitions up to yesterday (12 April),” said a BEF spokesman.
“Thank you to all the organisers, secretaries and competitors who readily embraced the process and made it work so successfully.”
The spokesman said while the mandate to use the forms has now ended, BEF and EIDAG are recommending to member bodies and show organisers that a revised version of the form be introduced as an “ongoing biosecurity measure” to protect equines and mitigate the risk of spreading infectious diseases.
The equine herpes virus (EHV) is always present in the British horse population, but the recent severe outbreak in Europe
“The process of monitoring and laboratory testing, which was imposed on horses that had been in direct contact with EHV-1
EIDAG chair Celia Marr said recent events have shown what can be achieved when the equestrian community works collectively to implement effective biosecurity measures such as self-certification.
“We actively encourage all member bodies, event organisers and horse owners to continue to make use of a self-certification process to ensure that horses coming to gatherings are as healthy as possible, in order to reduce risk of disease spread. Infectious disease management is a collective responsibility which everyone shares,” she said.
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