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Horses: Equine Herpes Virus

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 162616, tabled on 3 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prevent the spread of the equine herpes virus into the UK.

Answered on

11 March 2021

We are aware of the outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in Europe and are monitoring the situation closely. We are in regular contact with the equine sector and working with them to ensure owners are informed about the risks and are taking the necessary precautions to keep their animals safe.

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is not notifiable to government and isolation of sick animals is the best protection against infection. There is no public health risk.

Horse owners are advised to contact their private vet if they observe any respiratory illness, abortion or neurological signs in horses or ponies in their care or would like to discuss options for vaccination against the disease. We are monitoring the effectiveness of vaccination with disease experts and the British Equine Veterinary Association.

All horses imported into the UK are required to be certified as being fit to travel and not to have originated from a premises where disease is known to be present. Any horses imported into the UK should be placed in isolation for at least 10 days before allowing them to mix with other equines. Comprehensive industry advice and guidance on biosecurity and vaccination is available online.

Named day
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