Updated BEVA Prepurchase Exam Guidelines in Effect

New equine prepurchase exam (PPE) guidelines are in effect in Great Britain. The guidelines and accompanying PPE certificate first went into effect in mid-September during the 2011 British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Congress.

The revised PPE certificate and new guidleines describe how a PPE should be carried out. The five-stage PPE is an important procedure to inform prospective purchasers and help them make objective decisions about a horse they wish to purchase. The new documents have been revised by the BEVA PPE Committee, chaired by Malcolm Morley, BVSc, MRCVS.

Morley explained, "The existing documents had remained unchanged for 25 years and amendments were long overdue. The updated certificate has a similar format to the previous version but now reflects modern practice and complies with recent RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) guidance regarding examinations where the seller is a client of the examining veterinary surgeon."

The new document, BEVA/RCVS Guidance Notes on the Examination of a Horse on Behalf of a Prospective Purchaser, is available online and has been written in plain English for ease of reference by prospective purchasers as well as practitioners.

The key changes are as follows:

  • The new certificate states whether the seller or their agent is the client of the examining veterinary surgeon or their practice;
  • The new certificate indicates whether the examining veterinary surgeon or their practice has attended the horse and if they have, an opinion is given regarding the significance of any veterinary history;
  • Flexion tests and trotting on a circle on a tight surface are still not mandatory parts of the examination because although they can be useful, there may be occasions when they are inappropriate, unsuitable, unsafe, or impossible to perform. However, many purchasers expect them to be performed and so the new certificate records whether or not they were done. If they were not performed, the certificate also records the reasons for omitting them;
  • If a blood sample was not taken then the reason for omitting it is recorded on the certificate;
  • The new certificate has advice regarding a seller's warranty and obtaining insurance; and
  • The term 'aged' now refers to horses considered to be over 15 years old whereas previously it could be used for horses considered to be over 8 years old. This is not the result of a change in the understanding of ageing horses by dentition but rather the fact that calling a horse 'aged' when it might be less than 15 years old does not reflect common usage of the term.

Old PPE certificates will remain valid until February 2012. For further information visit the www.beva.org.uk or contact the Veterinary Defence Society for carbon-copy pads or a PDF of the new PPE certificate.

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