BEF Report Further Equine Influenza (Flu) Cases

Equine Influenza

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) have announced further identification of Equine Influenza cases, in the UK.

Today (13 February), the BEF reported an update from the Animal Health Trust (AHT) that identified three further positive tests for equine influenza. The cases are located in Kent, Derbyshire and central Scotland.

The AHT noted that the three positive tests were from horses who were recently imported from Ireland, or had been in contact with horse’s who had been recently imported. With additional cases being reported across European countries, It has been asked that owners consider any recent contact with imported horses, as this  potentially increases the risk of equine influenza contraction. Veterinary advice also states that owners should be isolating any imported horses, for at least 21 days, to prevent the spread of equine influenza or any other viruses.

The news comes after the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) announced their decision to continue British racing this week.   The decision was made on the basis of very few outbreaks of the disease being identified across the British racing community. The BHA announced yesterday that “the levels of risk is acceptable for a return to racing”, although the BEF stated they were “cautiously optimistic” about the restart, even before the most recent equine influenza case identifications.

However, the BEF has reassured that, from over 700 samples, only a small number of equine influenza cases have been identified. The organisation is also continuing “to closely monitor the situation and assess the risk to the health of UK horses”.

It has been urged that owners are vigilant for symptoms of the disease and to contact their vet if they believe their horse is showing any signs. The BEF have also recommended all horses owners to ensure their horse’s vaccination are up to date, further recommending 6-month boosters in this time of heightened concern.

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