REMIND! FEI enhances horse traceability in EHV-1 Return To Competition measures

The FEI has added new modules to the FEI HorseApp to monitor key mandatory requirements in the Return To Competition measures that will allow for a safe resumption of international sport in mainland Europe, 12 April.

Key areas covered by the Return to Competition protocols, which were launched on 30 March, include advance PCR testing (for certain designated events only), temperature monitoring of horses as well as enhanced Examination on Arrival procedures. Stringent biosecurity measures and mitigation plans, in line with the FEI Veterinary Regulations, also form part of the Return To Competition measures.

The measures include a number of temporary provisions that will remain in place until 30 May 2021, providing a science-based safety margin to allow for monitoring of any further related outbreaks. This date can be extended if required.

The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group has already agreed that there is currently no evidence indicating that it would be unsafe to return to international competition in mainland Europe as planned today, provided the mandated enhanced preventive measures are implemented. However, the Group will continue to monitor the evolution of the outbreaks on a daily basis.

“The recent EHV-1 outbreak has underscored the importance of early detection and prevention in disease transmission,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Åkerström said.

“The FEI HorseApp is a crucial tool to facilitate the traceability of horses attending FEI Events, as well as for data gathering to allow for better risk assessment analysis and informed decision-making. It is a key element in ensuring a safe return to competition today and in minimising the impact of a disease outbreak in the future.”

The FEI HorseApp will be used for uploading negative PCR results for designated events. In addition, the FEI Veterinarian conducting the Examination on Arrival will scan the horse’s microchip with a reader connected via Bluetooth to the FEI HorseApp, and also record the horse’s temperature in the FEI HorseApp.

Under the Return To Competition measures, it will also be compulsory for all horses to be officially checked out at the Show Office using the FEI HorseApp. This ensures traceability should a disease outbreak occur.

“Data driven technologies are a key part of the solution to the current EHV-1 pandemic,” FEI Director Information & Sports Technology Gaspard Dufour said. 

“We have been able to use the existing functionalities of the FEI HorseApp to actively monitor horse movement and horse health status and added new modules that provide for a safer return to competition.

“But importantly, the collection of this quantitative data is critical to tracking the evolution of the disease and allows us to make better informed decisions concerning the smart and safe resumption of equestrian sporting activities.”

The FEI HorseApp is available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play for Android devices. The new version of the FEI Horse App, including the Return To Competition modules, is now available for download.

The Return To Competition measures are available here.

FEI press release