Horse Sport Ireland liaising closely with DAFM in relation to European outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus

  • 2 March 2021, 12:22

Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) are liaising closely with all relevant authorities, in relation to the outbreak, particularly the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who are the competent authority with regard to such disease matters, in respect of returning athletes and horses. Horse Sport Ireland are in regular contact with athletes in Spain.

Horses will only be permitted to leave the Jumping Tour venues in Vejer de la Frontera (ESP), Vilamoura (POR), San Giovanni in Marignano (ITA) and Gorla Minore (ITA) when they are in possession of an official health certificate from the local Veterinary Authorities. Each venue will have stringent biosecurity protocols in place and additional FEI Veterinary Delegates onsite.

Horse Sport Ireland are urging all stakeholders to be vigilant during this time with regard to movement of horses to/from the Continent.

The FEI has cancelled international events in 10 countries on the European mainland with immediate effect and until 28 March 2021 due to the rapid evolution of a very aggressive strain of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), which originated in Valencia (ESP) and has already resulted in related outbreaks in at least three other countries in Europe.

The FEI’s decision, which covers events in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia, in accordance with FEI General Regulations Article 112.3.

This decision applies to all FEI disciplines, but in order to prevent huge numbers of horses simultaneously departing the Jumping Tours on the Iberian Peninsula, in Italy and Belgium that have been ongoing for a number of weeks, these specific Tours will be allowed to continue as individual “bubbles” on the condition that absolutely no new horses are allowed to enter the venues and no positive cases of EHV-1 are confirmed.

Oliva Nova (ESP) had already advised the FEI this afternoon that it has decided to cancel the rest of its scheduled competitions in the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour III. Opglabbeek (BEL) has also informed the FEI that it has cancelled its events in March.

“This was not an easy decision to block events in mainland Europe, particularly after the major disruption to the FEI Calendar caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said, “but this EHV-1 outbreak is probably the most serious we have had in Europe for many decades and our decision is based on clearly identified epidemiological risk factors.




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