In an update posted April 2, the British Horseracing Authority(BHA) and the British Equestrian Federation(BEF) have attempted to provide clarification on equine influenza vaccination requirements for horses racing under BHA rules and for horses competing under the BEFmember bodies (BSJA, BD and BE).
The move has been made in order to help riders, owners and vets tackle the significant logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and provide clarity for all.
Currently all competitive disciplines under the BEF umbrella operate a requirement for an annual booster every 12 months after an initial course of two injections and the first booster injection. This will remain the case throughout 2020, which means that any horse who goes beyond their annual renewal date will be required to start again. The initial vaccination intervals for primary and booster vaccinations will also remain in place as normal.
Those member bodies who have rules in place for six monthly booster injections before competing will look to implement a transition period to allow riders to bring vaccinations up to date, once the current suspension of activity is lifted. Each member body will outline their six month booster requirements individually ahead of competition restarting.
The BHA has moved to a 12 month booster vaccination requirement, from their policy of nine months, to cover horses racing in the United Kingdom for the remainder of 2020.
Like all equine vets, OVH Equine are under strict guidance to carry out emergency work only at present – and as booster vaccinations are classified as routine injections, they will not be carried out until further notice.