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For Equine Vets Everywhere

Weatherbys issues advice to vets on launch of new vaccination app that will facilitate safer resumption of racing

COVID-19 Performance Horses News
22 May 2020 BEVA

The following was sent out by Weatherbys on Thursday 21st May.

Phase 1 of the Weatherbys Vaccination App was launched for 'trainers only' on 18th May, to enable them to upload historical vaccinations digitally and for BHA officials to review and approve historical passport vaccination records whilst racing takes place behind closed doors and also for when the industry emerges from working under Covid-19 related restrictions. As a vet you are not required to do anything at this time. 

As you can appreciate both the launch and the rollout have been fast-tracked in order to support a swift resumption of racing - with the introduction of the App helping to demonstrate that racing has adapted its procedures to make raceday operations safer for all involved.

The speed at which the industry has had to move has meant that initial veterinary consultation, which had been planned, has not yet taken place. 

This will however be an important part of the process as we move forward with subsequent phases.

Phase 1 of the App's rollout is the uploading of historical vaccination records for horses in training only. The uploading of this information is done by trainers and does not require veterinary input or vets to download/register on the App. Since the App's launch on Monday 18th May, 231 licensed racing yards have uploaded over 4,300 historical horse vaccination records. In addition, we have seen over 4,500 historical vaccinations uploaded to the App in Ireland by around 180 trainers in a similar time period. Here too the Vaccination App is integral for their resumption of racing plans. 

The App uploads both Equine Influenza and Equine Herpes Virus vaccinations.

Once the historical vaccination records have been successfully uploaded, Phase 2 of the rollout will begin. This will allow new vaccinations to be uploaded or approved by vets. This is planned to commence on Wednesday 27th May and further communications will be provided to all vets in advance. As a vet, you do not need to do anything until you have received this communication from Weatherbys. 

If you need to administer a booster vaccination during the "transition phase", between now and completion of the approval process for uploaded historical vaccination records (which will take approximately 10 days), you should vaccinate the horse and record it in the passport as usual. You should also remind your trainer that they will need to upload the booster details and have it authorised, by you, once their historical records have been approved.

The App is the first stage in a programme that will result in a fully digital E-Passport (due to be launched for the 2021 breeding season), which will provide a very user friendly and time efficient system for all stakeholders to manage all regulatory requirements relating to the passport.

David Mountford, Chief Executive of the British Equine Veterinary Association, stated: "The Vaccination App has not altered the requirement for compliance with existing passport legislation; the app simply provides a safe, secure and non-physical way for racing to ensure observance with its own vaccination rules (with the added benefit that it should save any trainer the expense and embarrassment of arriving at the racecourse with a non-compliant vaccination record)."

We fully recognise the importance of input from the veterinary sector in this project and look forward to regular dialogue and the establishment of working groups to assist and deliver the future functionality of the App. It is worth noting, that we already have implemented functionality with he current App, which we believe will bring real added benefit to the veterinary community for managing and working with your clients such as: 

  • Providing pre-clearance for raceday and eliminates compliant issues.
  • Extraction of data in file format for additional record keeping.
  • Early notification of due or expired vaccinations.
  • The issuing of vaccination certs for duplicate passports or if records have been lost/mislaid.

We will be in touch again next week and in the meantime should you have any questions regarding the phase 2 rollout, please don't hesitate to contact us on +44(0)1933 440077 and ask to speak with John Sharp, Sam Wallace or Rachael Rotea. 

Alternatively please email vaccapp@weatherbys.co.uk.