Hunting and competitions hit by foot-and-mouth

  • Hunting across the UK is again on hold, and several equestrian events have already been cancelled, following the re-introduction of foot-and-mouth controls.

    A new case of foot-and-mouth (FMD) confirmed this afternoon in Egham, Surrey means no hunting activity with hounds can take place on farmland across the UK until further notice.

    Hunts are again banned from picking up fallen stock, other than horses, and nor can it be delivered to kennels.

    The FMD case in Egham has also forced the closure of Guards Polo Club in Windsor, and the cancellation of the British Horse Driving Trials Association (BHDTA) national championships, due to take place this weekend in Windsor. Windsor Great Park has been closed, on account of its deer herd.

    Although horses cannot catch foot-and-mouth, they can, like humans, dogs and vehicles, carry it.

    Horses within the 3km protection zone that are kept on the same premises as susceptible animals (ruminants such as deer, sheep, pigs and cattle) must not be moved.

    Horses within the PZ not kept on the same premises as susceptible animals can, at present, be ridden on roads, but not on public rights of way.

    No horses can, at present, leave the foot-and-mouth PZ. To read Defra’s advice for horse owners in full, click here.

    There is likely to be an impact on the import and export of horses from the UK, with further increases in export paperwork likely. The free movement of horses between France and Ireland, under legislation known as the Tripartite agreement, may also cease as Ireland reintroduces FMD controls.

    For more information on cancellations of shows and events, keep up to date via www.horseandhound.co.uk

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