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FEI update on confirmed EHV-1 case in Opglabbeek

Saturday, 01 April 2023

On 31 March 2023, the FEI released the following statement regarding a confirmed EHV-1 case in Opglabbeek, Belgium:

"We would like to provide the equestrian community with a brief overview of the situation and measures that have been taken by the FEI, in consultation with the Organising Committee and the Belgian National Federation, in relation to a confirmed case of EHV-1 in Opglabbeek (BEL).  

The affected horse, which had already left the venue, presented neurological signs for EHV-1 upon returning home which were subsequently confirmed through an EHV-1 test. The horse unfortunately died today on 31 March 2023 and the FEI is following up on the circumstances of the horse’s death.

Over 30 horses deemed to be in-contact with the affected horse (stabled in the same stabling area since 22 March) have been blocked in the FEI Database as a safety precaution. This includes any horses that may have already left the venue.

The Persons Responsible (PRs) have all been notified, alongside their respective National Federations and National Head Veterinarians (NHVs).

All blocked horses have been isolated and will be prevented from attending any FEI events until they have fulfilled certain health requirements which are imposed in order to minimise any potential transmission of the virus, both to their own horses and the wider horse population. The mandatory biosecurity measures include isolation for a minimum of 21 days, taking twice daily rectal temperatures and conducting laboratory testing for EHV-1. Release from isolation can only take place on the advice of a veterinarian and in order to be “un-blocked” and have access to FEI Events, the horses will need to comply with all the return to competition protocols and have the restriction lifted by the FEI Veterinary Department.  

We are grateful for the community’s vigilance in all matters of biosecurity and once again reiterate the importance of the Horse Health Requirements, and the necessity to fulfil the Horse Health Requirements via the FEI HorseApp to ensure the maximum safety for all horses competing at international events.

All information in relation to the Horse Health Requirements is available on the dedicated Horse Health Requirements hub. Should you have any questions regarding this matter, don’t hesitate to contact the Veterinary Department.

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