As the inaugural Equine Health Week draws to a close, British Equestrian and their Equine Infectious Disease Advisory Group (EIDAG) have announced the release of a concise handbook for venues that host gatherings to aid the fight against disease transmission amongst equines through strong biosecurity provisions.
Based on the principle of ‘reducing risk together’, the latest handbook follows on from the comprehensive guide for reducing spread of disease, released in September 2021 by the EIDAG. Industry leaders and veterinary experts in equine medicine and infectious disease have compiled this handy guide for all venues and event organisers to help safely bring equines together. This includes all types of competitions or meetings, both large and small to ensure sufficient measures are always put in place to help mitigate the risks of disease to keep our equines healthy and the equestrian scene active.
Reducing disease risk together: Advice notes for venues which host horse gatherings
The 16-page handbook includes:
- Infectious disease management – why reducing spread of disease is important, support for venues and which diseases venues should focus on.
- Risk reduction strategies – information on vaccinating horses and correct planning procedures for hosting gatherings.
- Practical biosecurity and risk reduction – actions to be taken if a horse becomes ill and advise venues should provide to participants.
- Recommendations for venues with horses which are permanent residents
The new handbook is available on the British Equestrian website – both as an interactive book or for download.
Alan Beaumont, who heads up premier venue Addington Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire, had a preview copy and commented; “This is a comprehensive document and gives venue owners and staff a good understanding of what actions to take in the first instance whilst formulating a longer-term plan – which is how it should be.”
Venue owners, event organisers and anyone who keeps horses are also advised to visit the health and biosecurity hub under the ‘EQUINE’ section on British Equestrian’s website, www.britishequestrian.org.uk, for a host of educational content and resources.
Celia Marr, Chair of the EIDAG, said; “It’s incredibly gratifying to be able to launch our second biosecurity resource to the equestrian industry on behalf of British Equestrian. The members Equine Infectious Disease Advisory Group have worked hard to produce this handbook which we hope venues will find a great asset – and hope all equestrians will also read it as we all have a role to play in safeguarding the health of our own horses, and that of the national equine herd. I’m grateful for the support and contribution of EIDAG members and their knowledge and insight which has made the handbook possible.”
A launch session was filmed with Celia where she gave some more background on the work of the EIDAG, its members and introduce the new handbook which is available on British Equestrian’s YouTube channel.