EHV-1 outbreak’s effect on horse events explored in FEI report

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The second of the FEI's three-part report into the 2021 outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in mainland Europe looks at Return To Competition protocols and the EHV-1 By-Laws and sanctioning system incorporated into the FEI Veterinary Regulations.
© FEI/Lukasz Kowalski

The second of the FEI’s three-part report into the 2021 outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in mainland Europe has been released.

It focuses on the Return To Competition protocols put in place to ensure the safe resumption of FEI Events after the six-week FEI-imposed lockdown on international sport in Continental Europe, as well as the EHV-1 By-Laws and sanctioning system that were incorporated into the FEI Veterinary Regulations 2022.

The lockdown was put in place to reduce equine travel across the European continent in order to minimise transmission of EHV-1, which had directly resulted in the deaths of 18 horses and confirmed related cases in 10 countries.

The 30-page report, together with more than 200 pages of Annexes, has been produced by FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström and Grania Willis, former FEI Communications Director and now Executive Consultant to the FEI.

Åkerström said the second part of the report reviews Return To Competition measures post-lockdown, as well as the related By-Laws and the resulting amendments to the FEI Regulations.

“Knowing how busy the members of our community are in their daily lives, we have simplified things to make the report a more user-friendly experience by adding a dynamic table of contents, so that readers can go directly to the elements/sections they wish to read, as we did with Part 1 of the report,” he said.

The first part of the report, published on February 28, provides a comprehensive and factual picture of the outbreak, including the series of events, causes, roles and responsibilities, and analysis.

Elements of the third and final part of the report will be presented at the FEI Sports Forum, from April 25 to 26. It will incorporate further risk mitigation of EHV-1, including conclusions from the scientific EHV-1 vaccination review commissioned by the FEI, and the suggested way forward.

This concluding section of the report, with the Sports Forum presentations incorporated as Annexes, will be published in May.

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