We are very happy to welcome you to the veterinarian hub of the FEI website. Within the following pages, you will find useful information and advice on specific issues relevant to your role as a Veterinarian working at an FEI event either in a treating or official capacity.
We would like to remind you that it is the paramount responsibility of all those involved in equestrian sport to ensure a high health and welfare status of the horses they are in charge of. To this end, the FEI Equine Welfare Code of Conduct must be complied with at all times. As Veterinary health professionals supporting equestrianism throughout the world, you play an essential role in protecting the welfare of all competing horses. You are also responsible for implementing the FEI Veterinary Regulations and ensuring fair play. You are, moreover, expected to be familiar with the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations and the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List, which can be found on the FEI Clean Sport website.
Equine Coronavirus, or ECoV, is nothing new, it was first detected in the United States of America in 1999. ECoV is not linked to Covid-19 and cannot be transmitted to humans.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, there is an understandable concern associated with the term Coronavirus, but there are a large number of these viruses, and the vast majority only result in mild symptoms. One of the most prevalent Coronaviruses in humans is the common cold.
The equine variety, ECoV, which generally causes mild gastrointestinal issues, is endemic in a number of countries, including Japan. It is also present in the United States of America, parts of Europe and the Middle East.
As the FEI has just been advised by the Japan Racing Association (JRA) of an outbreak of ECoV last year at the Tokyo Racecourse – which is not an Olympic or Paralympic venue – we have created an informative factsheet (see attached) about ECoV. This is also published on the Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games hub.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the FEI Veterinary Department.
The FEI would like to warn the equestrian community that some batches of Marstall feed containing apple pomace were contaminated with caffeine, a Controlled Medication and Specified Substance on the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List.
Bernhard Kreiling GmbH, the manufacturer of Marstall, identified apple pomace, an ingredient in the feed, to be the source of contamination. Measures have been taken by Bernhard Kreiling GmbH to prevent further contamination with caffeine and other substances derived from caffeine. Feed produced since 14 July 2020, i.e. batch numbers 219301, 219302, 219303 and 219304 onwards, should be unaffected. The FEI recommends that anyone using this feedstuff should carefully check the batch numbers and contact the manufacturers if they have any concerns.
The FEI recommends that samples are kept from batches of feed and supplements given to competition horses to enable a thorough investigation to be carried out should contamination be suspected.
Under the FEI Regulations, from 1 January 2021 it will be possible for horses to be tested for caffeine under the Elective Testing scheme. Since caffeine is listed as a Specified Substance, from 1 January 2021 any finding will be treated as an Atypical Finding.
Further information concerning contamination prevention can be found here.
In follow-up to our communique of 7 October 2020 (see below), the British Horseracing Authority has been made aware that the products of several other equine feed companies, besides GAIN Equine Nutrition, may also have been affected by the shipment of contaminated molasses suspected of containing the banned substance Zilpaterol.
We understand that the companies in question are contacting customers directly to advise on the batches that may have been affected and to replace the contaminated feed.
Anyone contacted by their supplier should follow their advice and, if required, stop feeding any potentially affected product immediately. They should also ensure that all feed equipment (bowls, scoops, bins etc.) that may have contained any contaminated product is cleaned thoroughly with detergent and plenty of water.
In line with our previous advice, it is strongly advised that horses that may have inadvertently ingested Zilpaterol are withdrawn from competition.
Further information on contamination prevention can be found here.
The FEI would like to inform the equestrian community about a feedstuff contamination with Zilpaterol, a Banned Substance on the Equine Prohibited Substances List, following an alert from feed producer GAIN Equine Nutrition advising its equine customers to refrain from feeding their current stock of GAIN Equine products.
On 2 October 2020, the French horse racing authority France Galop announced that five horses had tested positive to Zilpaterol. The substance appears to have derived from the ingestion of contaminated feed.
Zilpaterol is a beta-agonist drug used as a feed additive to increase muscle mass in beef cattle. It can also improve lung function. A number of countries prohibit its use in food producing animals.
The FEI recommends that samples are kept of batches of feed and supplements given to competition horses to enable a thorough investigation to take place should the horse test positive for Zilpaterol.
Under the FEI Regulations, it is not possible for horses to be tested for Zilpaterol under the Elective Testing scheme as it is a Banned Substance.
It is strongly advised that horses that may have inadvertently ingested Zilpaterol are withdrawn from competition.
Further information on contamination prevention can be found here.
The latest updates from GAIN on this issue are available here.
An outbreak of Glanders has been contained on the island of Büyükada, the largest of the nine Princes’ Islands off Istanbul (TUR). Turkish authorities culled 81 horses on the island in December, barred the entry and exit of animals on the island and have also banned the use of horse-drawn carriages on Büyükada for a three-month period to prevent the spread of the disease. A further three outbreaks have been reported in the provinces of Bolu in the north west of the country and Uşak in the interior part of the Aegean region, resulting in an additional 11 horses being culled by the Turkish authorities.
As glanders is a notifiable disease, the Turkish authorities formally notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) of the outbreaks on 23 and 31 December. The FEI and European Equestrian Federation (EEF) were informed of the initial outbreak in Büyükada by the Turkish National Head Veterinarian on 19 December. As the outbreaks have been contained and all necessary biosecurity measures have been implemented, there is no impact on FEI events at this point, but the Turkish authorities are continuing to provide regular updates to the FEI and the EEF. There was a previous outbreak of glanders in Turkey two years ago.
Glanders is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei. It primarily affects equidae (horses, donkeys and mules), but the bacteria that cause glanders can be transmitted to humans through contact with tissues or body fluids of infected animals. There is currently no vaccine against glanders, but strict biosecurity measures are an effective preventative. Control depends on early detection and humane destruction of seropositive animals to stop the spread of the disease.