Confirmed Outbreaks of Equine Influenza Reaches Significant Milestone in 2019

Confirmed Outbreaks of Equine Influenza Reaches Significant Milestone in 2019

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) today confirmed that the number of laboratory confirmed outbreaks of Equine Influenza (EI) in Great Britain has now exceeded more than 200; this is compared to just two outbreaks reported in 2018.

 Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, at the Animal Health Trust, said “Alarmingly the number of outbreaks of Equine Influenza continues to rise and are likely to continue week-on-week for the foreseeable future.  The effect of increased horse movement and mixing of horses at events in the summer is a contributing factor”.

 “We applaud those horse shows and events which have made vaccination mandatory, have arrangements to check passports and enforce the rules”.

 “We encourage organisers of horse shows and events in the future to make vaccination mandatory, and to ensure this decision is communicated in plenty of time ahead of their event to allow owners the time to properly vaccinate their animals.”

 The advice to all horse owners from the AHT remains the same.  Remain vigilant to the clinical signs of flu, boost the horse’s vaccination if it was given more than six months ago and importantly isolate new arrivals on the yard and those returning from shows.  It is important that horse-owners also practice good biosecurity at their yard and when out competing.