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FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group: “The situation remains under control”

Wednesday, 31 March 2021
EHV-1 (neurological form)

On the 30th of March 2021, the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group held the third of its weekly meetings, focusing on the current situation with the virus in mainland Europe, mandatory EHV vaccination in France for racehorses and the elements that need to be considered when declaring an EHV outbreak.

The full report from the meeting reads as follows: 


"Current situation and Return To Competition

There have been no reports of new neurological cases linked to Spain in the past week and the Group agreed that the situation remains under control. The FEI is following up on a number of cases in Luxembourg to see if these are linked to Spain, but otherwise there is no change from last week.

The laboratories have advised that, to date, there is no evidence that this is novel virus.

The Group supported the Return To Competition measures taken and welcomed their publication.


Mandatory EVH vaccination programme in French racehorses

Mandatory EHV vaccination was introduced in 2018 for racehorses in France and for trotters the following year, although trotter broodmares have been under mandatory EHV vaccination since 2015. The French trotting governing body, Le Trot, believes that there are less abortions, with only sporadic cases. Starting this year, racehorses and trotters in France must be vaccinated as yearlings.

The Group was advised that it is still too early in the programme to have reliable data, but that some background figures should be available soon.

The FEI Veterinary Director has requested information from the US Equestrian Federation (USEF), which imposed mandatory vaccinations in 2018 on a national basis.


Criteria on how to declare an outbreak of EHV

To support the FEI’s legal position when declaring an outbreak of EHV, the Group discussed the elements that need to be considered when declaring an outbreak. It was agreed that this requires further discussion and it will be included on the agenda for next week’s meeting.

The Group’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 April 2021."

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