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New strain of equine flu responsible for outbreaks, AHT confirms
AHT recommends that all horses are revaccinated if the booster was given more than six months ago.
Florida Clade 1 H3N8 in circulation in the UK

A new strain of equine influenza is responsible for the recent outbreaks in vaccinated horses, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has confirmed.

In its latest update, published on Monday (18 February), the trust said there had been 29 outbreaks in 17 counties across England and Scotland.

This heightened number of cases is down the the newly identified Florida Clade 1 H3N8.

Outbreaks in race horses prompted all races to be cancelled across Great Britain for nearly a week earlier this month.

The AHT, which is continuing to test samples, said the current vaccine offers a greater degree of protection that was initially thought when outbreaks began to occur in Europe. This is particularly true when a booster has recently been administered.

Vaccinated horses experience milder symptoms and recover faster than unvaccinated horses. The trust recommends that all horses are revaccinated if the booster was given more than six months ago.

AHT has come up with five protocols to help reduce the number of outbreaks:
  • Vaccinate: Horses should receive a booster if they were vaccinated more than six months ago. Unvaccinated horses will need to start a course of vaccinations.
  • Isolate: Immediately isolate new or unwell horses from the main yard. Be aware of biosecurity measures.
  • Investigate: Speak to organisers about biosecurity measures at any events or equine gatherings before deciding to attend.
  • Communicate: Be open about any suspected or confirmed cases to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Mitigate: Gather as much information as possible to mitigate the risk of attending an event or moving a horse.

 

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Government to run free webinars on exporting horses

News Story 1
 The UK government has announced that it will be running two free webinars for horse owners and exporters, explaining what steps to take to export horses from 1 January 2021.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday 20 October 2020, from 9.30am to 11am. It will cover Export Health Certificate (EHC) requirements from 1 January 2021. Click here to register.

The second webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. This session will focus on the steps that businesses need to take to export equines from the UK to the EU. Click here to register.

For more information on exporting horses and ponies after 1 January 2021, please visit the gov.uk website. 

Click here for more...
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More cases of African swine fever confirmed in Germany

More cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in Germany.

According to Pig World, 20 outbreaks have been identified in two districts - Brandenburg, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle, some 7.5 km away.

The finding represents a further seven cases confirmed by Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. A Central Crisis Team has been established to coordinate the response to the outbreak.