Lausanne, Switzerland – April 11, 2021 – Following the EHV-1 outbreak that has tragically resulted in the loss of 18 horses and many sick horses, and led to a six-week shutdown of international competition, on 30 March the FEI published a series of measures required for the safe return to competition in mainland Europe.
The biosecurity measures issued to athletes and grooms are broken down into every step of the competition journey from pre-travel to arrival at the event location and during the competition period to returning home, and of course there are also requirements for the event organisers and FEI Officials.
For the preceding 10 days before travelling to an event, those responsible – the athlete or the groom – should monitor and record on a chart the temperature of each of their horses twice a day. They should also complete the FEI Equine Health Self-Certification form (available here).
If the event they will be attending could have more than 400 horses, athletes and grooms will have to ask a veterinarian to perform a PCR test on horses 120 hours or less before arrival at the event. As soon as a negative PCR test result is received, it must be sent to the FEI using the FEI HorseApp mobile application.
Prior to travel, the organiser should be informed of an estimated arrival time to to allow for a safe and well-organised Examination on Arrival. As always, participants should also be ready for their horse to be examined on arrival, and any horse with a temperature of 38.5°C or higher will be put into isolation and monitored.
At events, everyone needs to use the handwashing and disinfection facilities and limit the number of people in the stable areas. Anyone that has concerns about the biosecurity measures or situation should immediately contact the FEI Veterinary Delegate.
There are detailed rules for those whose horses are placed in isolation, most notably respecting all the biosecurity measures in place, including wearing boot covers and coveralls, and always disinfecting hands when entering and leaving the isolation area.
When leaving the event, athletes and grooms must make sure that all horses are officially checked out by the Show Office using the FEI HorseApp. However, this checkout does not replace the required Health Certificate that must be issued by the Veterinary Authority in some countries.
When back home, if any horses develop any infectious disease within 14 days, the athletes are asked to contact their National Federation and the FEI (email@example.com).
All the details and information you need are available and frequently updated on the FEI website, please click on the link below:
A detailed factsheet will be available on 12 April in seven languages – English, Dutch, French, Germany, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish – in the Downloads & Forms section of the Return To Competition section of the dedicated EHV-1 hub.
Source: Press Release from FEI – Fédération Equestre Internationale
Photo: © FEI