EHV Outbreaks in Mainland Europe / Immediate measures for UK | British Equine Veterinary Association
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EHV Outbreaks in Mainland Europe / Immediate measures for UK

News Infectious Diseases Performance Horses
23 Feb 2023 BEVA

Cases of EHV have been reported linked to Showjumping events in Lier, Belgium and Oliva, Spain.

UK Measures as at 12.00 23/02/23

All horses returning to the UK from these shows from 00.01hrs on Saturday, 18th February will be required to isolate and will not be allowed to attend any National Competitions until a period of isolation of 21 days is completed or they have undertaken laboratory tests which confirm negative results. Testing with negative results based on samples collected at least 10 days apart in accordance with details below will be accepted as evidence of clearance with restrictions on competition attendance then lifted by the FEI. This date of commencement of enhanced risk aversion may change as more information becomes available from the FEI.

It would also be prudent, although it is not mandatory, for yards to isolate and test horses which returned from these sites before 18 February.

Detailed Quarantine Procedures for showjumpers returning from events in Oliva Nova, Spain and Lier, Belgium.

Facilities / Working Practices

• Quarantined horses should be kept in a barn or stables that is physically separated from other horse accommodation by at least 5 metres.  Ideally there should be a road between the isolation barn and other barns or the isolation barn should have separate access.

• Human-cross over between quarantined and other horses should be minimised or, ideally, avoided. 

• The two horse groups should ideally have separate staff and riders. If this is not possible, quarantined horses should be attended to after other horses, staff should then change their  clothes and shower before returning to non-isolated horses.

• Within the quarantine area, staff should wear separate coveralls for each horse and employ hand hygiene and foot dips between each quarantined horse.

• Each quarantined horse should have separate mucking out and feeding equipment.

• There is no need for separate muck heaps, but it is essential that muck and bedding from the quarantine area does not pass through non-quarantined areas on its way to the main disposal collection area.

Clinical Monitoring including:

• Recording temperature twice a day

• Noting appetite,

• Noting presence / absence of nasal discharge at least twice daily

• Noting presence / absence of coughing at least twice daily

• Yards should keep a written diary / Vet should review diary often.

Testing (Two alternative Routes)

• Minimum route (following FEI requirements)

• Nasopharyneal swabs for PCR on day 21 of an isolation period starting from leaving the event.

• Several UK veterinary labs can offer EHV PCR which will satisfy the FEI requirements and same day turn around can be anticipated for samples received in the morning or by special arrangement.

• Yards will be expected to forward these results to British Showjumping.

• Fast route

• Complement fixation test (CFT) serology on day 1 and Day 10-14 (also available in the UK), together with nasopharyndeal swabs taken on day 1 and  day 10-14 tested by PCR.

• Day 1 is defined as the day the horse arrives in its UK isolation unit.

• For serology, submit to Rossdales Laboratory using the submission form available here.

• Serology runs are performed on Mondays and Thursdays, with results available the following late afternoon.

• Same day turnaround can be expected for PCR for samples received in the morning or by special arrangement.

• Results will be shared directly with British Showjumping - vets must ensure that the yards are aware of this.

Report from Spain

On 23 February 2023 the FEI Veterinary Department reported an outbreak of EHV-1 at the Spring Mediterranean jumping tour event in Oliva, Spain.

Seven horses, all stabled within the same stabling area, developed pyrexia and were immediately isolated together with three close in-contact horses. Nasopharyngeal swab samples were taken from all horses and 4 tested positive for EHV-1 on PCR analysis.

To date, the affected horses have not shown any other clinical signs of EHV-1 infection.

Almost 1000 horses were stabled on the affected premise since 7 February and the FEI has been working closely with the event’s organisers and FEI Officials, as well as the Spanish National Federation and the Spanish veterinary authority in managing the outbreak.

All horses have been prevented from attending any future FEI events until the FEI’s EHV-1 testing requirements have been fulfilled. 82 horses that have been stabled within the affected stabling area will be managed and kept in isolation at the event venue.

Horses that have not been stabled in the affected stabling area will be permitted to leave to undergo isolation and testing for EHV-1 at their home stables.

The events scheduled to take place at Oliva in the forthcoming weeks have been cancelled until further notice.