Horserace Betting Levy Board issues 2017 Codes of Practice

Applying to horse and pony breeds, and to both natural cover and AI, the codes are a guide to preventing and controlling equine diseases that represent a potential major threat to the breeding industry.

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The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has published the 39th edition of the Codes of Practice on equine disease in preparation for the 2017 equine breeding season in the United Kingdom.

This document will be available online at codes.hblb.org.uk.

The HBLB will not produce printed editions, although Great Britain’s Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) will be issuing printed copies to its members.

The online version can be accessed in full or as separate sections, and it can be downloaded as a PDF for printing or viewing offline.

Additionally, EquiBioSafe is a free app, available on iOS or Android, containing the HBLB Codes and the National Trainers Federation Code of Practice for Infectious Diseases of Racehorses in Training. The app includes additional features and is updated automatically from time to time; the 2017 update was released on Dec. 1.

Applying to horse and pony breeds, and to both natural cover and artificial insemination (AI), the codes are a guide to preventing and controlling equine diseases that represent a potential major threat to the breeding industry, including:

  • Contagious equine metritis (CEM);
  • Equine viral arteritis (EVA);
  • Equine herpesvirus (EHV);
  • Equine coital exanthema (ECE);
  • Equine infectious anaemia (EIA); and
  • Dourine.

For each disease, the codes contain sections which describe transmission and clinical signs, as well as advice on prevention, diagnosis, and infection control. The codes explain the notification requirements that apply for the four diseases that are notifiable by law (CEM, EVA, EIA, and dourine).

Additionally, the codes include information on strangles and guidelines for AI.

The Codes of Practice are reviewed annually by an expert subcommittee of HBLB’s Veterinary Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of:

  • Thoroughbred breeders in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, and Italy;
  • The non-Thoroughbred sector;
  • The British Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs;
  • Equine veterinary practitioners; and
  • Scientific experts on infectious disease.

“The 2017 version includes a number of detailed changes to the equine herpes section,” said Rob van Pelt, chairman of the Codes of Practice subcommittee. “These were developed with the TBA to answer some issues that arose last breeding season and show that the codes are dynamic, representing current best practice.

“I am glad to see that the vital importance of effective biosecurity for our horses is being appreciated by everyone,” he continued. “It matters to all equines whatever their breeding and use. Infectious diseases have obvious health and welfare consequences, but there may also be significant cost implications. Equestrian activities on both a local and national scale could have major disruption. It is in all our interests to work together and comply with the recommendations in the codes.”

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