The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes the latest update from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Friday 8th February that there have been three further positive results for equine flu – bringing the total number of positive results to six – all of which are in the same racing yard.
The advice from our veterinary experts remains that it is not necessary to cancel other equine events as there is as yet no evidence of widespread infection, however we will continue to monitor this situation closely and will issue further updates as more information becomes available.
We continue to urge all horse owners to be vigilant and follow the recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this infectious disease.
We also urge any owners with suspected cases to take immediate veterinary advice and if equine flu is confirmed by laboratory testing, they should contact their relevant member body.
GUIDELINES FOR OWNERS
It is crucial for all horse and pony owners to be vigilant and follow recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this infectious disease.
Look out for signs of disease which can include high temperature, cough, snotty nose, enlarged glands (under the lower jaw), swollen or sore eyes, depression, loss of appetite and swelling in the lower legs.
If you see any of these signs, isolate the horse and call your vet immediately.
It is essential that any horses showing signs of possible equine flu, or horses that might have been in contact with possibly infected horses, do not travel to competitions or other events where there will be groups of horses. If your horse has been in contact with an infected horse we suggest that you should take immediate veterinary advice.
If your horse is currently vaccinated, but it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination, we recommend that you discuss a booster with your veterinary surgeon.
The BEF has further guidance on its website regarding equine infectious diseases and biosecurity.