New bylaws relating to equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV) in mainland Europe have been introduced by horse sport’s governing body, with sanctions for non-compliance.
The new bylaws aim to maintain a necessary level of biosecurity and to complement the introduction of the mandatory use of the FEI HorseApp.
The moves follow an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1 – neurological form), which originated in Valencia in Spain in February 2021 and led to the FEI cancelling international events in 11 countries on the European mainland from March 1 to April 11, 2021.
The sanctions will apply from October 1, and will be proposed as permanent measures in the 2022 FEI Veterinary Regulations that will be put forward for approval at the FEI General Assembly 2021.
Sanctions will be applied with regards to non-compliance of EHV-By-Law 5, which requires mandatory rectal temperature checks of all horses twice daily at events, with the readings posted on a chart outside each horse’s box. However, this requirement will be replaced on October 1 with a requirement to have the temperature recorded via the FEI HorseApp.
And under EHV-By-Law 10, the Horse Health Status Self-declaration by the rider/groom including horse rectal temperatures for the 10 days before arrival to the event, must be recorded on the FEI HorseApp.
The proposed sanctions apply per horse and will be issued by FEI Headquarters following an automated process. The fine (where applicable) will be issued to the Person Responsible. Sanctions are not appealable. If the Ground Jury fails to eliminate a horse when elimination is the applicable sanction, FEI Headquarters can retroactively disqualify the horse.
EHV-related requirements and restrictions against riders, horses, FEI officials, and organising committees at any time, even if an FEI event is over.
Horses blocked in the FEI Database will be unblocked after there have been 10 consecutive days of twice taken rectal temperatures registered in the HorseApp.
More information is on the FEI’s EHV-1 Hub.