British African Horse Sickness Regulations Take Effect Nov. 21

British African Horse Sickness Regulations Take Effect Nov. 21

Photo: Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, UK

According to an announcement on the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) website, the African Horse Sickness (England) Regulations 2012 signed on Oct. 15 by Minister of State for Agriculture and Food David Health, MP, will go into effect on Nov. 21. The regulations were introduced to the British Parliament on Oct. 19, the website said.

The regulations outline who must be notified if a horse in England is suspected of having African horse sickness (AHS), steps to take once a horse is suspected or confirmed as having AHS, area AHS controls, and AHS vaccinations. The regulations also cover AHS guidelines for slaughterhouses and feral or wild horses. The entire 24-page document can be viewed online.

Also available online are the related explanatory memorandum and the British Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs' impact assessment.

According to the BEVA website, an AHS control strategy is in the process of being finalized.

African horse sickness is a fatal viral disease spread by Culicoides--tiny, blood-sucking insects--that can affect horses, mules, and donkeys, as well as dogs and camels. Horses are most susceptible to AHS, with a 75-90% mortality rate. A vaccine is available, but no effective treatment methods exist for infected horses. For survivors, recovery is slow.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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