Equine Influenza Vaccination
To protect the health of the other competing horses and the biosecurity of the venue, a valid passport must accompany the horse to all competitions and be produced on request. Failure to comply is a disciplinary offence and will debar the horse from competing at the event for which it has been entered. A horse will not be permitted to compete unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions:
• An initial course of two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete.
• A first booster injection must be given between 150 and 215 days after the second injection of primary vaccination
• Subsequent booster injections must be given at regular intervals of not more than 12 months, commencing after the first booster injection.
• The most recent booster injection must have been given within six calendar months prior to the horse competing.
• The full course or booster must have been administered at least seven days before the competition.
The vaccination record(s) in the horse’s passport, must be completed, signed and stamped line by line, by an appropriate veterinary surgeon (who is neither the owner nor the rider of the horse). For those competing under FEI rules, please refer to FEI rules. The responsibility to comply with this rule lies with the competitor, who should consult with their veterinarian.
Horses being found without adequate and up to date vaccinations will not be allowed to compete and will be barred from competing until such a time that they have been given their first and second vaccinations. Membership and Horse Registration will be suspended for any horses and their owners in breach of this rule.
There is also a degree of confusion around microchipping, as we’ve made it a requirement for registration, with effect from 1 December 2019. A law was passed in June 2018 which came into effect on 1 October last year for all horses to be microchipped, with a two year implementation period. The deadlines to have your horse microchipped expire on 1 October 2020 for England, 12 February 2021 for Wales and 28 March 2021 for Scotland. After this time, non-compliance may be liable for a fixed penalty notice and fine.
The law is in place and active, as from 1 October last year, hence us introducing the requirement ahead of the legal enforcement deadline so members are ready and not at risk of incurring unnecessary fines. Microchipping is part of the Equine ID project from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) alongside passports and registration on the Central Equine Database in a bid to prevent abuse and improve welfare. As part of responsible horse ownership, we are all required to comply with this law.