The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has announced the start of an official project designed to furthering their efforts to improve the international movement of high-level horses, according to the FEI veterinary director.

The project will include the endorsement of an official "biosecurity guide," the promotion of horse passports, and a closer working relationship with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris, France, said Graeme Cooke, MBA, MA, VetMB, MRCVS. The decision was made during the FEI Bureau annual meeting Nov. 6, held this year in Istanbul, Turkey.

"Biosecurity is not something necessarily new, but this project will lend clarity to an approach we’ve always supported but not properly written down," Cooke told The Horse. One goal of the project is to harmonize equine biosecurity and improve the health requirements for the international movement of high-level performance horses worldwide, he said. This would also help prevent and better manage situations where there is a disease risk, such as the possibility of an influenza outbreak at an FEI event in Normandy, France, in May. These situations are not only potentially detrimental to the welfare of sports horses but also could present great expense as well, he said. "Obviously this also comes along with a financial commitment," Cooke added, underlining the project’s level of priority to the FEI.

Consultants have already started drafting the project , he said.

Once completed the new FEI biosecur