Biosecurity Tip of the Month: Horses and Event Facilities

Biosecurity Tip of the Month: Horses and Event Facilities

Depending on the protocols facilities have in place, the biosecurity risk to your horse can range from minor to major, or be somewhere in between.

Photo: Alexandra Beckstett, The Horse Managing Editor

Traveling to shows, clinics, and equine-event facilities with your horse could expose him to dangerous infectious diseases. At best, these diseases are expensive and time-consuming to treat and, at worst, are fatal. Learn how to evaluate risk and protect your horse.

Biosecurity Risk: Animals entering event grounds—such as horse show, auction, or trail riding facilities—are a potential source for the introduction of an infectious disease agent.

Depending on the protocols facilities have in place, the biosecurity risk to your horse can range from minor to major, or be somewhere in between:

  • High Biosecurity Risk—These facilities have no horse health entry requirements and no horse inspections upon arrival.
  • Medium Biosecurity Risk—Participants coming to these facilities are required to sign horse health declaration upon arrival, but a health certificate isn't required and horses aren't inspected upon arrival.
  • Minimal Biosecurity Risk—A horse health declaration, health certificate, and horse inspection upon arrival are required for all horses entering these facilities.

Biosecurity Fix: To keep your horse's biosecurity risk low, take him to facilities that permit only healthy horses to enter equine event grounds and have enforceable rules for refusing entry of unhealthy horses to the event.

And as always, remember to provide a safe and healthy environment for your horse by practicing good biosecurity at your farm and while traveling. 

Information provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Biosecurity Toolkit for Equine Events

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