The secretary-general of horse sport’s world governing body will soon have the power to stop events and ask riders to register the location of their horses via GPS in an outbreak of the neurological form of equine herpes virus (EHV-1).
Under amendments to the FEI’s EHV-1 Bylaws, the new measures apply to events in mainland Europe from May 31 to the end of the year. They will be included in the draft 2022 FEI Veterinary Regulations and, subject to approval at the FEI General Assembly, will be implemented globally from January 1, 2022.
Further to a declared outbreak of suspected or confirmed neurological EHV, the FEI Secretary-General currently has jurisdiction to stop events in Europe and to request the Persons Responsible to register the GPS location of their horse(s) via the FEI HorseApp.
The amended measures follow an outbreak that was centred on a competition in Valencia, Spain, earlier this year, with sick horses first reported on February 20. There have been 18 equine fatalities since.
Other changes included in the FEI’s Emergency Board Resolutions relate to the number of veterinarians required at an event, the swabbing of horses displaying signs of illness, isolation unit requirements, and cleaning and disinfection requirements.
Horses must also be checked in and checked out of events using the FEI HorseApp. Rectal temperature checks of all horses twice daily at events is mandatory, with the readings posted on a chart outside each horse’s box. Should a horse arrive at an event with a temperature over 38.5°, all horses in the transport are to be isolated.
A new version of the FEI HorseApp is published each week, with enhanced functionality for horse checkout at events and improved integration of microchip readers.
National Federations have until June 27, 2021 to signify their disapproval of any of the Emergency Board Resolutions.