2011 saw the first update of the PPE Certificate and Guidance Notes for the UK and Irish Republic in 25 years. These two countries have a very interconnected trade in horses and closely linked veterinary professions, particularly across the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Since introduction of the new documents, it has become clear that whilst veterinary surgeons in Britain will almost always observe the horse ridden, many in Ireland prefer to see the horse lunged. The Guidance Notes did not accurately reflect that difference.


In the interests of clarity, the PPE Certificate has been amended to include a small section in which the examining veterinary surgeon can state whether the horse was lunged, ridden, or both. The Guidance Notes have also been modified and the relevant section now reads:


"If ridden exercise is not undertaken then this stage may be conducted by exercising the horse on a lunge. It should be made clear on the certificate what form of exercise was undertaken."


These changes have already been agreed by BEVA, Veterinary Ireland, and the Veterinary Council of Ireland and were ratified by RCVS Council on 7th June 2012. Veterinary surgeons can obtain new versions of both Guidance Notes and PPE Certificates from the Veterinary Defence Society (VDS). VDS members may find it easiest to download them from the "resources" section of their members website.

The amended Guidance Notes are available via the following link 2012 Guidance Notes