Tuesday, 02 March 2021
Many will have read updates via the FEI and other channels of an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1 - neurological form) which originated at the CES Valencia Spring Tour (ESP) and some horses that participated at the event and left the venue have since tested positive for EHV-1 at their home stables in other European countries.
The number of horses affected indicates a major outbreak. British Showjumping has been in contact with any riders who competed horses at Valencia and all have been given the necessary advice and guidance directly, none of them have returned to the UK as yet.
Yesterday, the FEI announced the cancellation of international events in ten countries on the European mainland until 28 March 2021 in a bid to contain the outbreak. The decision applies to all FEI disciplines however some of the specific jumping tours will be allowed to continue but no new horses may enter the venues and no positive cases of EHV-1 are confirmed.
Members of the Equine Infectious Diseases Advisory Group in conjunction with the British Equine Veterinary Association have been assisting British Equestrian and in turn our member bodies. The BEF will now work with member bodies to provide guidance for any British riders impacted by the outbreak and to prevent any further spread of the virus.
*UPDATE* (added at 20.17 on 02.03.21) British Showjumping has now issued protocols for the management of riders returning to the UK from high risk areas of Europe:
EHV-1 is an air-borne disease that can be transmitted up to five metres via coughing, but also through direct contact, via people and shared equipment. It can cause respiratory and neurological signs, abortion in pregnant mares and death of young foals. Please see the British Equestrian web page or below information sheets for further information:
EHV is found routinely in the UK and is a non-notifiable disease but it is not to be taken lightly. The risk to the general horse population here is no higher than usual as any British horses who were on the show ground in Valencia are being managed in Europe and will not travel home until they are passed fit by a veterinarian.
In the interests of equine welfare, and to protect your horses and those of others, there are biosecurity measures you should implement for your horses as regular practice but particularly any yards who have travelled horses to/from Europe recently. These measures are to prevent the virus being transmitted at future events you attend. Please see the information sheets below for further guidance: