Posted on 16th December 2021
Since 9 November 2021 equine influenza (EI) has been reported on ten separate occasions in the UK, which represents more than 40% of the 24 EI diagnoses made so far this year. A majority of these cases are in unvaccinated equines. Following on from discussions held between BEF Equine Infectious Disease Advisory Group (EIDAG) and representatives of BEF member bodies held on 6 December, EIDAG have issued updated advice and information on Equine Influenza Vaccine Policies.
“Regular vaccination is the cornerstone of EI prevention and control and there is long-standing scientific evidence that six-monthly booster vaccinations remain necessary for ensuring optimal protection of equine populations, especially those animals that regularly move to/from and mix at equestrian events”
Based upon this guidance, the ABRS+ would continue to encourage good vaccination and monitoring practices within our member establishments, to prevent the spread of infectious disease and reduce the likelihood of disruptions to your services, yard or events. This would be particularly applicable if you have horses regularly leaving the premises for the purposes of training or schooling, where they may come into contact with other equines. Whilst we understand that a majority of our members have isolated equines that do not leave the premises, it is also worth considering the cross-contamination possibilities from services providers on your yard- such as vets, dentists, farriers or equine bodyworkers- that may have had close contact with other equines prior to their visits, and also of equines that may be visiting your yard for events or facility hire. We would also encourage that the necessary steps are taken for new arrivals to your premises with regards to testing, health certificates, or isolation measures to reduce the risk of infection not only of Equine Influenza, but of any infectious disease.
You can find the updated BE and EIDAG information here:
BE Guidance Equine Influenza 13 01 21
EI Update December 2021 final (including details of current outbreak locations)