British Equestrian (BEF) has issued a further update to the statement released jointly with British Equestrian Veterinary Association (BEVA) and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on 17 August, confirming that there are supply problems with equine influenza doses of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Proteq product.
A Europe-wide issue, impacting the UK first
This is a Europe-wide issue, but the shortage of doses has hit the UK first, with a number of veterinary practices reportedly already out of stock. Early indications from Boehringer Ingelheim are that the issues will continue until the end of October, at the very earliest.
Working closely with the British Equestrian Veterinary Association (BEVA), British Equestrian’s Emergency Response Group (BEF ERG) can offer temporary guidelines to help minimise the impact of the shortage of vaccine stocks for a limited period, whilst preserving the health of the UK’s national equine herd. The BEF ERG will continue to meet regularly to monitor the situation and work on a strategy to manage vaccine stocks through the shortage and as supplies return to normal.
Horses competing under FEI registration
Owners of horses who compete internationally under FEI registration should endeavour to follow their current requirements until advised otherwise. The BHA issued an update on its current position on 27 August and will continue to monitor the situation with the BEF and BEVA.
Those who are not affiliated with a member body but compete or regularly mix with other horses should consult their vet about vaccination protocols for their horses and ponies.
Increased importance for effective biosecurity measures
The need for every owner to put in strong biosecurity and surveillance measures is always important but now more than ever. Horse owners should be alert to the signs of illness in horses and, if displayed, not travel or compete, but call the vet as soon as possible. Equally, when introducing new horses into your yard or herd, you should always operate a quarantine programme. During the current situation it is advisable to adopt pre-movement PCR testing and a five-day PCR test five days after arrival for new horses and ponies equines if unvaccinated.
BEVA has frequently asked questions on their websites, which may help with any queries horse owners may have.