BHA – Equine Influenza Alert – Update

Following the Equine Influenza Alert on 18 January 2019, the BHA has discussed the recent outbreaks in Europe with the Animal Health Trust, and veterinary advisors from stakeholder groups including the National Trainers Federation and the Racehorse Owners Association.

Due to the concerning situation in Europe where outbreaks have occurred in vaccinated horses, the BHA would like to advise that all horses which have not had a vaccination again Equine Influenza within the last six months should receive a booster vaccination.

We continue to advise trainers to be extra-vigilant with biosecurity. 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 isolated and promptly investigated by your vet. Symptoms may only be transient in vaccinated horses.

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 and young Thoroughbreds.

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. Further information on the signs of Equine Influenza can be found in the NTF Codes of Practice, on the EhquiBioSafe 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.