BHA – Equine Influenza Alert

The BHA would like to make trainers and other industry participants aware of several outbreaks of Equine Influenza in France, Belgium and Ireland, some of which have occurred in vaccinated horses.

Whilst we have not seen Equine Influenza in vaccinated animals in the UK, these reports are concerning. We would advise trainers to be extra-vigilant with biosecurity and ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date. New horses entering a yard should be isolated for a period of 14 days. Horses showing signs that could be flu (especially rapidly spreading nasal discharge and/or harsh dry cough) should be promptly investigated by your vet. These symptoms may only be transient in vaccinated horses. The HBLB will cover laboratory costs for testing for Equine Influenza at the Animal Health Trust, if submitted under the HBLB scheme – see http://www.equiflunet.org.uk/ for details.

Unlike other infectious diseases, Equine Influenza can be airborne over reasonable distances as well as be transmitted indirectly, including via people, and this may in some circumstances pose an additional risk to racehorses.

Further information on the signs of Equine Influenza can be found in the NTF Codes of Practice, on the EquiBioSafe App or at http://www.equiflunet.org.uk/.

Any confirmed cases must be reported to the British Horseracing Authority – this can be done via the EquiBioSafe App or by emailing equine@britishhorseracing.com or calling 020 7152 0009.