Updates

In this section, you will find various updates concerning the veterinary aspects of Equestrian Sport.

  • March 2019 - The British government has issued guidance on the movement of horses in the event Britain does not finalise a withdrawal agreement with European Union (EU) negotiators by 29 March 2019. With just weeks to go until the 29 March deadline, the British Parliament has yet to approve the terms of withdrawal negotiated with the EU. In the event that Britain leaves the EU without a deal, the travel requirements for horses after 29 March will depend on: 1) whether the EU lists Britain as a ‘third country’ (i.e. countries and regions outside the European Union), and 2) the health status category in which the EU places Britain. The British government is continuing to negotiate with the European Commission on securing listed status for Britain, which would enable the continued movement of horses to EU member states. However, in case of a ‘no deal’, horse owners need to be aware that horses travelling from the EU to Britain:

    - may need to undergo additional blood tests, which will need to be carried out within 30 days or less of travelling to satisfy EU
      regulations;
    - owners will need to consult with a vet at least six weeks before they are planning to travel;
    - all horses will need an Export Health Certificate in order to travel to EU states, instead of current documents, and will need
      to enter the EU via a Border Inspection Post (BIP);
    - horses with FEI passports, or passports recognised by the FEI in combination with an FEI recognition card, fulfill the
      requirements for government issued travel ID documents.

    Currently we have been informed that there will not be any changes to import regulations for FEI horses travelling from the EU into Britain, but updates will be provided. The guidance is designed to give horse owners as much time to prepare for these new processes and factor in any extra travel time they may require when travelling to and from the EU. The guidance issued by the British government can be found here. British-based horse owners and those planning to transport FEI registered horses to Britain to compete at FEI events are encouraged to refer to this site frequently for updates on the situation.
     
  • February 2019 - Multiple equine influenza outbreaks have been confirmed in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Nigeria, Great Britain and the United States of America since the beginning of this year. If you would like further information on the reported outbreaks, please consult the Biosecurity and Movements webpage to access the International Collating Centre (ICC) reports. The ICC reports equine infectious disease outbreaks in real time.
  • We are monitoring the situation very carefully and FEI events are currently not impacted. Reports indicate that some vaccinated horses have been affected by influenza and have shown mild clinical signs of the disease. We therefore request that Veterinary Delegates and Permitted Treating Veterinarians carry out high standards of biosecurity practices, take horses’ temperatures during the examination on arrival and be vigilant of horses showing non-specific signs of disease. We also encourage veterinarians to check the ICC reports before attending events.

    Information and advice has been issued to FEI stakeholders and can be accessed here and an FAQ on equine influenza has been published on the FEI website. Further information for veterinarians can be found in the Equine Influenza webinar on FEI Campus.

  • January 2019 - The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has temporarily closed the Miami Animal Import Center to new arrivals after six horses quarantined or recently released from the facility became sick. These horses had clinical signs including diarrhea, fever and founder. We have been informed by APHIS that, despite treatment, three horses have died or been euthanized due to very severe clinical signs. Salmonella has been found in the first horse that got sick and analyses are ongoing on samples from the other horses. There are still horses quarantined in the facility and APHIS is stepping up biosecurity and taking additional precautions to prevent further spread of the infection. Shipping agents are working closely with APHIS to ensure a safe release of these horses. The Miami Animal Import Center will be closed until 31 March 2019. The latest information from APHIS is available here: http://www.equinediseasecc.org/alerts/outbreaks
  • October 2018 - Altrenogest is used to suppress oestrus in mares, and its use for this specific purpose is allowed under FEI rules. Its use in a male horse (gelding or stallion) is not permissible.

    Earlier this year, Australian racehorses tested positive for the anabolic agents Trendione and Trenbolone following administration of Altrenogest. The investigation revealed that traces of these two substances could be found in Altrenogest products as a result of the manufacturing process in a specific factory. Following the investigation some horse sport regulatory bodies have issued a warning regarding the use of Altrenogest.

    The FEI has conferred with the Director of the FEI Central Laboratory and can confirm that, with the currently available information, it is permissible to continue to use Altrenogest product Regu-Mate Solution 2.2 mg/mL for mares as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The FEI Veterinary Department recommends that anyone using or planning to use the product on a mare should discuss this with their veterinarian. 

  • March 2018 - RESPE, the French disease outbreak report system has reported 22 venues that have been infected by Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) since January 2018. The regions of Normandy, Brittany and Loire Valley are the most affected. The outbreaks have mainly affected sport horse populations but also breeding horses and have recently caused the cancellation of some events in western France. More information from the FEI regarding this outbreak can be found here. The FEI Veterinary Department would also like to share some biosecurity measures to safeguard the horse population. 
     
  • For advice on the transport of FEI horses within Europe, please refer to our guidance note by clicking here.
     
  • Equine Infectious Anaemia Cases in Europe. Due to the recently confirmed cases of Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA) in several parts of Europe, including Germany, the FEI wishes to inform all competitors and owners about the nature of this disease. It is important to seek veterinary advice if there is any suspicion of a horse showing signs of the disease. Within Europe, where EIA is a notifiable disease, any suspected case must be reported to the relevant government authorities.

    Equine Infectious Anaemia, also known as Swamp Fever, is a viral disease which affects horses, mules and donkeys and is most commonly spread by biting insects such as horse flies and midges. At present no treatment or effective vaccination exists for this disease. EIA is not spread from horses to people and it is therefore of no risk to human health. The presence of the disease can be indicated by a variety of tests, the most commonly known being the “Coggins Test” (AGID Test). 

    EIA does not spread quickly and is unlikely to spread widely from infected horses. While EIA may be fatal in horses, recovering animals remain lifelong carriers of the disease and will remain infectious to other animals. Therefore, in Europe infected horses must be humanely destroyed to prevent the further spread of the virus.

    Further information on EIA produced by the OIE can be found here. If you have concerns that your horse may be developing signs of EIA, or you believe it has been in contact with a horse known to have been diagnosed with EIA, you must isolate it and consult your Veterinary Adviser.