FEI tightens up equine veterinary rules

A new form to record any microchip irregularities that may affect identification of the horse has been made available by the FEI.
A new form to record any microchip irregularities that may affect identification of the horse has been made available by the FEI.

New sanctions have been introduced by the FEI for treating a horse at a competition in an area other than the designated treatment box, as well as fines for failure to report a fatal illness or injury, and for horses whose microchip does not match official records.

The changes were among several made to the FEI’s Veterinary Regulations following the organisation’s General Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan, earlier this month.

The timeframe for reporting horse fatalities related to FEI events has also been removed, meaning any fatal illnesses or injury, which occurs after an FEI event but is related to it in any way, must be reported to the relevant national federation which in turn is to inform the FEI. Funds available for post mortem examinations has been increased and can now be used to cover associated transport costs. Serious injuries must be reported within 48 hours of the end of an event.

New measures in support of the Equine Anti-Doping Medication Control Programme include sanctions for treating a horse in an area other than the designated treatment box, as well as fines for failure to report a fatal illness or injury, failure to produce a horse’s passport at an FEI event, and in the event of a microchip being found in a horse that does not match the information held on the FEI database. A new form to record any microchip irregularities that may affect identification of the horse has been made available.

Greater flexibility in terms of the appointment of National Head Veterinarians have been introduced, with the responsibility lying with this person to inform the FEI of any equine communicable disease outbreaks.

Of interest to countries such as New Zealand and Iceland was the changes to include exemptions for National Federations where domestic legislation prevents the use of equine influenza vaccines.

vet-checkThe High Health High Performance Horse (HHP) concept will be rolled out in 2015 and will be applied at selected major FEI events where HHP horses will have to meet specific criteria such as high health status, permanent identification, registration, records of all veterinary examinations, and compliance with an international biosecurity plan.

The general acceptance of the HHP principle, the launch of the FEI online veterinary report, which feeds directly into FEI databases, the global Endurance injury study and recent launch of the Injury Surveillance System (ISS) were noted as successes for 2014.

Modifications to the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medications Regulations (EADCMRs) were approved, with the main changes introduced to incorporate the approach of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, which will come into effect on January 1, 2015.

The FEI has clarified its policy on the use of supplements and vitamins, with the use of such products at the Person Responsible’s (PR) own risk. The rules will include a provision whereby the PRs, who have been warned about the possibility of supplement contamination, are responsible for what their horses ingest. It is a recommendation to enter all supplements in a log book.

Also approved were modifications to the FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA), which are fully compliant with the 2015 WADA Code.

A key change is the increase of the “base level” period of ineligibility of athletes from two to four years.

Another important modification is the introduction of the offence of “Prohibited Association”, making it an offence for an athlete to associate with an Athlete Support Person who is currently serving a period of ineligibility for violation of anti-doping rules or who has been convicted or otherwise found to be guilty of a serious doping offence.

• The General Assembly approved the Bureau’s proposal for changes to the financial structure of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme in order to apply the anti-doping programmes for human athletes and horses worldwide.

The principle used by the FEI Bureau in the review process was that the revenue for the Equine and Human Anti-Doping Programmes must come from taxation based upon the participation of horses at events and not upon the amount of prize-money distributed.

The following revised fees were adopted:
Lower Level events: CHF 18 ($US18) per horse per event (+ 44%)
Higher Level events: CHF 25 ($US25) per horse per event (+100%)

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