A recent outbreak of an aggressive strain of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) has resulted in the immediate cancellation of international events in 10 countries on the European mainland through March 28, 2021. The outbreak originated at a competition in Valencia, Spain, and is present in at least three other countries in Europe to date. There are no current EHV-1 outbreaks related to the Valencia competition evident in the U.S. at this time, but USEF is strongly recommending competition managers and competition veterinarians review all biosecurity requirements, guidelines, and protocols so the industry is as prepared as possible for a potential outbreak at a U.S. competition. Resources are available in links below and on your competition management dashboards. Please forward this information to all competition vets. Any reports of EHV-1 on competition grounds should be communicated to USEF immediately.

Biosecurity Protocols Reminder for Competition Management Following Recent EHV-1 Outbreak in Europe

 

A recent outbreak of an aggressive strain of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) has resulted in the immediate cancellation of international events in 10 countries on the European mainland through March 28, 2021. The outbreak originated at a competition in Valencia, Spain, and is present in at least three other countries in Europe to date. There are no current EHV-1 outbreaks related to the Valencia competition evident in the U.S. at this time, but USEF is strongly recommending competition managers and competition veterinarians review all biosecurity requirements, guidelines, and protocols so the industry is as prepared as possible for a potential outbreak at a U.S. competition. Resources are available in links below and on your competition management dashboards. Please forward this information to all competition vets. Any reports of EHV-1 on competition grounds should be communicated to USEF immediately by calling 1-800-633-2472.

 

Below are next steps you can implement immediately:

1. Review and ensure you are prepared for quick implementation of your competition isolation plan and discuss with your competition vet
2. Recommend horses’ temperatures are checked twice daily and logged
3. Isolate horses at first signs of symptoms or illness and report any cases immediately to USEF
4. Recommend separate feed buckets, brushes, rags, and tack/equipment for each horse. 
5. Eliminate communal or shared water troughs and buckets
6. Practice hand washing in between handling horses
7. Maintain social distancing for horses; limit nose to nose contact with other horses at the ring
8. Ensure horses are vaccinated for EHV (Rhinopneumonitis vaccine) in line with GR845
 

Please note that the vaccine does not protect against the neurological form of EHV, which is referred to as Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) but does reduce the clinical signs and shedding of the virus. Early identification and reporting of ill horses is critical in order to trace possible points of exposure and to aid in the prevention of further spread of the disease. The first 30 minutes following identification of a potentially infectious horse frequently determines the extent and scope of transmission and potential outbreak. Participants should contact their veterinarian immediately for testing if a horse begins to display any symptoms of EHV. Competition managers should also be notified if the horse is at a competition. 


If you are aware of individuals who are not following proper reporting protocols, please contact Debbie Saliling, USEF Director of Compliance, at compliance@usef.org.
 

Additional Resources:
 

1. Biosecurity Measures Pamphlet
2. Video: Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions
3. Biosecurity Toolkit for Equine Events 
4. Equine Disease Communications Center
5.

Isolation Protocol Template

6. Isolation Protocol Supplies List 
7. GR845 Equine Vaccination Rule 
8. Equine Vaccination Record
 
 

US Equestrian Federation

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