British Eventing vaccination update for 2019
Following the review of our policy regarding vaccinations, British Eventing is maintaining an updated vaccination policy across all BE fixtures for 2019.
The changes to vaccination requirements will be effective from 1 March 2019 until further notice, it will be continually monitored and reviewed based on the current Equine Flu status and advice from industry experts, including veterinarians.
The new vaccination policy will be enforced at all BE fixtures and is effective from 1 March to ensure that organisers, officials, riders, owners or person responsible, have a clear set of rules to follow without variation between venues and events.
We thank all members for their cooperation with the new rules and remind all competitors to please make sure that all horses’ passports are available for checking when collecting numbers.
We would also draw your attention to Rule 10.2.4. No relevant injection may have been given on the day of competition. This means that injections can be given in the week running up to an event and therefore a seven day window is not necessary under BE rules.
Changes to the 2019 BE Rules and Members’ Handbook can be seen below in bold:
A valid passport and vaccination record
- Must accompany the Horse to all Events,
- Must be available for inspection on collection of numbers,
- Must be produced on request at any other time during the Event.
- Failure to comply with these requirements is a breach of this Rule and the Horse will not be allowed to compete.
10.2 Vaccinations – National Competitions
10.2.1 No Horse may take part in a BE National Event (which includes entering competition stables) unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions:
- Two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete;
- A first booster injection must be given within seven months after the second injection of primary vaccination;
- Subsequent booster injections must be given at intervals of not more than one year, commencing after the first booster injection;
- The most recent booster injection must have been given within the six calendar months prior to the horse arriving at the competition.
10.2.3 The Record of Vaccination(s) in the Horse’s passport must be completed by the appropriate veterinary surgeon (who is neither the Owner nor the Competitor of the Horse) in which the record of injection(s) is completed, signed and stamped line by line.
10.2.4 No relevant injection may have been given on the day of competition.
10.5 Horses; Soundness; Infection; Tubing; De-Sensitising
10.5.1 All horses must be sound.
10.5.2 All horses must be free from clinical signs of contagions or infectious disease. Where appropriate, in the case of Equine Influenza, strangles or neurological EHV1 outbreaks, BE, acting throughout in reliance on veterinary advice, may prevent potentially exposed horses from competing at any BE Event. Members are strongly advised to follow the Horserace Levy Board (HBLB) Codes of Practice on Equine Diseases (www.hblb.org.uk/codes.htm) with particular regard to controlling the spread of disease.
Forgotten passport. Any horse without a passport will be sent home (plus travel companions).
Unvaccinated companion horse. Passports and vaccination records in accordance with the new rules must be carried for all horses on board any vehicle. Any horses without passports and compliant vaccination records will be asked to leave the site, along with any others which they may have travelled with.
Booster given within seven days of the Event. This is fine. As long as the vaccination was given at least the day before the horse arrives at the Event, and is not more than one year after the previous booster. (see Rule 10.2.4)
Only primary course given. This is fine, as long as the horse has had the first two injections that make up the primary course, and the second injection was given within the last six months.
Primary course given, but first booster (due within seven months) has not yet been given. Fine if second injection was less than six months ago.
Historical discrepancies (ref: rule 10.2.3). In cases where there are historical discrepancies (e.g. booster was given five days late in 2014), but the primary course is correct and the horse has had the most recent booster within the last six months, it will be at the discretion of the Vet and BE Steward as to whether the horse may compete.
Latest update from the British Equestrian Federation
The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) continues to closely monitor the Equine Flu outbreak. The latest statement from the Animal Health Trust (AHT) highlights that it remains a significant threat to the welfare of UK horses – with last week seeing the highest number of confirmed outbreaks in one week since February.
The total number of confirmed outbreaks as reported by the AHT in May 2019 has reached 21. The majority of infected horses are unvaccinated.
The BEF joins the AHT in urging owners to maintain their vigilance and ensure that their vaccination records are up to date. We continue to strongly recommend that if it has been longer than six months since the last vaccination, owners should discuss a booster with their veterinary surgeon.
As the competition season is getting into its busiest period, the number of outbreaks is likely to rise with the movement of horses across the country. It is vital that unvaccinated horses do not mix with other equines due to the increased risk of such an infectious disease spreading.
Our recommendations are based on advice from experts in equine flu and epidemiology with experience in managing previous outbreaks. You can find more information on how to prevent the spread of equine flu and how to protect your horse here.