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Equine flu boosters: lockdown amnesty comes to an end

Competitors have been reminded of equine flu vaccination requirements as a lockdown amnesty on six-monthly boosters comes to an end.

In July British Eventing (BD) and British Dressage (BD) announced an amnesty on the requirement for six-month boosters as sport restarted. BE said at the time it was aware some members would not have been able to have their horses vaccinated during lockdown, and BD said a temporary amnesty would allow members time to bring their vaccinations up to date.

The BD amnesty ended on 30 September, so all horses competing must have had a booster within six months and 21 days of competition.

The BE amnesty will end at the end of this month (31 October). A spokesman for BE said the organisation is reminding anyone that competes with BE after this date, including those taking part in BE jump training or the arena eventing series starting on 8 November, will be required to follow the vaccination rules as per the members’ handbook.

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The rule states that in order to compete a horse must have been vaccinated within six months and 21 days of the competition – but no injection should be given seven days before the competition.

“If your horse has missed the annual vaccination renewal date (i.e. 12 calendar months after the last recorded vaccination in the passport) then you will need to restart the course of injection before competing,” said the BE spokesman. “This means you need to have had a first and second vaccination within no less than 21 days of each other and seven clear days after the second vaccination before the date of competition.”

Although annual vaccinations are the requirements for horses competing in British Showjumping, the body “strongly recommends” six-monthly boosters.

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