The U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced today that foot and mouth disease (FMD) has been confirmed on another cattle farm near Surrey. The slaughter of these cattle began yesterday, based on suspicion of infection. This farm is within the original area considered a Protection Zone, in close proximity to the first infected premises.
Horses cannot be infected by FMD, but can carry the virus on their hooves, skin, hair, and possibly in their nasal passages. Therefore, equine movement is often restricted during an outbreak of FMD.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced today that it will not accept race entries for horses trained within an official FMD Surveillance Zone. Maps designating the most recent Surveillance and Protection Zones can be viewed at www.defra.gov.uk/footandmouth.
Additionally, the Tripartite Agreement has been suspended, meaning horses can no longer travel freely between Britain, France, and Ireland. Additional health papers from DEFRA will be required for horses traveling abroad from Britain.
Horses coming to Britain from these countries will need a declaration from a private veterinarian, stating that they have not been in contact with horses suffering from infectious or contagious disease in the previous 15 days. They will be allowed to return to France or Ireland within 15 days of their arrival in Britain, so long as they have a certificate from an official veterinarian.
The BHA advised trainers with specific questions on the overseas movement of horses to contact the National Trainers Federation.
For more information see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=10138.