Session 8: FEI Veterinary Regulations - Full revision

Session 8: FEI Veterinary Regulations – full revision

The Session was opened by FEI Veterinary Committee Chair Dr Jenny Hall who introduced FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström, Professor of Equine Infectious Diseases Mr Lutz Goehring, and FEI Official Veterinarian and member of the FEI Veterinary Committee Dr Yves Rossier.

Professor Goehring then took the floor to give delegates an overview of the impact of the EHV-1 virus in infected horses. In terms of reducing the spread of the EHV-1 virus, Professor Goehring stated the following:

  • Vaccination alone is not enough and we need a concerted effort from the entire community to combat EHV-1 outbreaks. A vaccination coverage of higher than 85% is also required.
  • There is a need to explore options for modernising vaccines.
  • It is necessary to advise and support organisers in meeting biosecurity requirements, and to consider how to increase distances between horses and reduce bottle necks and barriers.
  • Event personnel need to work fast to remove a shedding horse from a barn area to decrease the infection among other horses.
  • Plans need to be put in place for Group bubbles and to have rapid detection followed by isolation in proper isolation facilities.

FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström then took the floor, to outline some of the proposed modifications to the FEI Veterinary Regulations, which this year are undergoing full revision.

Following an overview of the efficiency, availability and legislation of EHV-1 vaccinations in protecting horses against outbreaks of EHV-1 at FEI Events, Dr Akerström put forward the following two proposals for consideration:

  • For the FEI to seek further input and keep the situation under review, deferring a rule proposal on mandatory EHV-1 vaccination to the 2023 FEI General Assembly at the earliest.
  • The FEI requires mandatory vaccinations against EHV-1 with implementation in 2025 in countries with available licensed vaccines.

Other recommendations that will be discussed during the Rules revision process:

  • For National Federations to implement their own biosecurity rules and regulations so they can manage outbreaks, shut down a national event, and block in contact horses.
  • To have continued dialogue with stakeholders, introduce biosecurity campaigns, promote biosecurity education on FEI Campus and support solidarity projects geared towards education for National Federations and Organisers.
  • Sanctions to remain, but to be reviewed to better reflect the level of biosecurity risks at Events.
  • The further development and support for the FEI Horse App including the launch of offline capabilities.
  • The FEI to review other methods to taking horse body temperature.
  • Increase identification of risk factors at FEI Events and to consider different biosecurity protocols based on discipline specifics.
  • To increase inspection before and during an Event to help increase compliance with biosecurity protocols.
  • To improve the level of pre-event PCR testing.
  • For FEI Officials to carry out spot checks of horses’ body temperatures to verify that they are taken correctly.
  • The FEI to establish protocols for the use of validated stable side tests when they become available.
  • To establish an Emergency Response Unit to be fully funded by the FEI and which will include veterinary medicine experts, and experts dedicated to collecting data.
  • The FEI to provide material to organisers and producers of permanent and temporary stabling to minimise the spread of infectious agents.

An additional proposal from the GBR NF on changes to the Equine Influenza First booster interval to harmonise the vaccination requirements with other horse sports was also put forward to delegates for consideration.

♦ Dr Jenny Hall (GBR), Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee
♦ Dr Lutz Goehring, Professor of Equine Infectious Diseases, University of Kentucky
♦ Dr Göran Åkerström, FEI Veterinary Director

♦ Yves Rossier (CAN), Member of the FEI Veterinary Committee

Day 2 - 26 April 2022, 11:30 - 13:00
Watch Session 8 on Replay
Session 8 Documents Library
FEI Veterinary Regulations:
  Executive Summary
  Supporting documents
  Speakers & Panellist Biographies