Glanders, flu and African horse sickness targeted by international horse sport body

A horse suffering from African Horse Sickness.
A horse suffering from African Horse Sickness. © Spana

The development of a new African horse sickness vaccine estimated to be available in 18 months is expected to deliver “a far-reaching positive impact on horse sports around the world”.

The International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) has given its in-principle agreement to support the development of the African horse sickness DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals).  It is anticipated that development of a polyvalent vaccine and immunity studies may be completed for a new vaccine within about 18 months.

Its development has been part of the IHCS’s collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Since 2015, significant progress has been made on six scientific studies on African horse sickness, equine influenza and glanders.

The IHSC believes that the development and production of an African horse sickness vaccine would be a major achievement, and would deliver a far-reaching positive impact on horse sports around the world.

It is anticipated that the development of equine influenza vaccination protocols will be included in the OIE Terrestrial Manual by 2019, and critical milestones in research work into the development of a serological diagnostic assay for glanders are expected to be reached by mid-2018.

The advances were reported at a series of meetings at the Hong Kong Jockey Club at the weekend. The IHSC is a collaboration between the FEI and the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities.

At the annual meeting of the General Assembly, the current President of the IHSC, Louis Romanet (who is also Chairman of the IFHA), was elected for a further term of two years.

Three OIE-IHSC regional workshops were held in Johannesburg, Guatemala and Montevideo during 2017, with the aim to facilitate advancements in the temporary international movement of competition horses.

The workshops brought together a broad range of private and government sport horse industry stakeholders, including representatives of national equestrian federations, national racing authorities, national veterinary authorities and customs organisations in the South African, Central American and South American regions.

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