HBLB Codes of Practice
Each year, the HBLB updates and publishes Codes of Practice on:
- Venereally transmitted bacterial diseases caused by the contagious equine metritis organism CEMO, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
- Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)
- Equine Herpevirus (EHV)
- Equine coital exanthema (ECE)
- Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA)
In addition, the Codes of Practice include guidelines on Streptoccocus equi (Strangles).
The recommendations within the Codes of Practice are common to France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Update from the HBLB annual meeting
The horserace betting levy board’s codes of practice subcommittee held its annual meeting on Wednesday September 19th 2012 at the Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, under the chairmanship of Mr Christopher Rea, MRCVS. Mr James Crowhurst and Professor Sidney Ricketts represented the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association. The main headings for discussion were:
Electronic access to the Codes of Practice: The 2012 Codes have been available electronically (http://codes.hblb.org.uk). Analysis of the online ‘traffic’ during the 11 months to 31st July 2012 reports 40,000 individual page visits from 10 countries, the majority from UK. While printed Codes will remain an important means of ensuring maximal availability and encouraging compliance, electronic publication will become progressively more important. A new smartphone app will be developed for 2013.
Compliance with the Codes: Increasing Codes compliance by non-Thoroughbred horse and pony breeders, particularly those using artificial insemination, becomes increasingly important. A smaller meeting of the Codes Subcommittee members who operate in the non-thoroughbred sector and selected industry invitees will be convened to further consider options to improve compliance.
The British Equine Veterinary Association have reviewed their existing code for the use of AI in mares, referring practitioners and AI technicians to the HBLB Codes for all matters relating to disease control. They recommended a number of amendments to the HBLB Codes to specifically target the non-Thoroughbred industries. The AI checklist and new biosecurity protocols for AI/semen collection will be included in the HBLB Codes for 2013, with a reference link to BEVA’s revised guidelines.
Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM): Defra confirmed that the small CEM incursion in Gloucestershire is now declared closed and that all mares traced as inseminated with a CEM positive German non-Thoroughbred stallion’s semen have been swabbed negative.
In response to concern about Defra’s promised review of the UK notifiable status of CEM, Subcommittee members concurred that the Infectious Diseases of Horses Order 1987 and their Codes were inter-dependent and that retaining the notifiable status of CEM (and EVA) was vital to maintaining a critical mass of voluntary compliance with their Codes. They emphasised that the threat of statutory movement restrictions encouraged compliance with the HBLB Codes and that compliance with these voluntary Codes can reduce the need for statutory intervention, providing industry cost sharing. The Irish delegate emphasised that removal of notifiable status of CEM in UK would affect the confidence of trading partners outside the UK, particularly the Tripartite Agreement countries, and would have a negative effect on trading.
Laboratory certificates: At the recommendation of the Newmarket Stud Farmers’ Association, it was agreed that the word ‘clitoral’ would be taken to mean clitoral fossa and sinuses and that designated laboratories should advise their referring veterinary surgeons accordingly.
A laboratory certificate that could be transmitted electronically, with appropriate security safeguards, will be developed.
Equine Viral Arteritis: New advice emphasising the need for care in complying with EU/Australian six-monthly booster requirement EVA vaccination protocols and the need for first vaccinations to be given under isolation condition, which particularly affects ‘shuttling’ stallions, will be included in the 2013 Codes.
Dourine: The Italian delegate reported that there have been no confirmed clinical cases of Dourine in Italy this year and that of 30,000 horses examined, there were 43 serological positive cases (0.15%), all in Southern Italy and all non-Thoroughbreds. The Italian Government restricts seropositive horses and bans stallions tested positive at the beginning of the stud season from breeding.
This meeting occurred before Defra announced recent diagnoses of EIA in Cornwall and EVA in Gloucestershire.
It is clear that the HBLB Codes remain highly successful ‘standard operating procedures’ for the equine breeding industries, helping to maintain the UK’s disease free status, safeguarding equine health and welfare and aiding equine business and exportations, particularly to countries outside the EU.
The Codes of Practice set out minimum recommendations for the prevention of these diseases and for their control, should they occur. A copy of the 2013 Codes of Practice was sent to all domestic TBA members in November 2012 and is also available on line .
To support the Code of Practice on venereally transmitted bacterial diseases, the HBLB approves laboratories for the purposes of testing for the CEMO, K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa. Please click here for the HBLB Laboratory Approval Scheme, which lists approved laboratories in the UK, Ireland and France.