The latest FEI update on Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) - neurological form

10 March 2021

  • A horse in the Veterinary Clinic in Valencia, which had undergone colic surgery on 9 March, was euthanised. This brought the number of related deaths to 12.
  • The FEI was notified that precautionary testing of a horse that had returned to its home stables in Belgium after competing in Doha (QAT) has come back positive to EHV-1. The horse is not displaying any clinical signs and a re-test has been done. A second horse in the same stables has tested negative.
  • As a result, the FEI has blocked all 85 horses that were competing in Doha and any other horses that may have been in contact with them. Athletes have been advised to implement strict biosecurity protocols – including isolation – or equivalent measures as requested by their National Federation.
  • The FEI was advised of new EHV-1 positives in Belgium (4) and France (6) in horses that have returned from the Spanish Sunshine Tour from Vejer de la Frontera (ESP). These new positives include the first horse that displayed neurological signs on 4 March 2021 in the isolation stables at the Sunshine Tour, which tested positive after its return to Belgium. Today’s confirmed positives are in addition to the positive in Belgium yesterday (9 March), meaning the total currently stands at 11.
  • All 2,053 horses that have participated in the Spanish Sunshine Tour since 9 February 2021 had already been blocked in the FEI Database yesterday and athletes were advised of the necessary biosecurity measures that must be implemented prior to return to competition. Athletes were also advised not to participate in any training sessions or national competitions with their horses, nor any breeding activities.

11 March 2021

  • The FEI has been notified that the re-test on one of the horses returning from Doha (QAT) has come back negative for EHV-1. However, all 85 horses will remain blocked in the FEI Database until they have completed the necessary biosecurity measures.
  • A protocol was agreed with the Vejer de la Frontera Organisers for athletes who wish to keep their horses onsite at the Spanish Sunshine Tour venue for the required 21-day isolation period.
  • The first group of horses to leave Valencia departed the venue at 5am, following agreement between the French and Spanish Ministries. These horses are quarantined in biosecure stabling outside Paris.
  • A separate plan for the remaining horses to depart the Valencia venue was agreed with the regional branch of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA).
  • The CHIO Aachen Campus hosted a live online forum to answer questions about the EHV-1 outbreak. Speakers were Dr Friedrich-Wilhelm Hanbuecken, Professor Dr Karsten Feige, and German National Federation Secretary General Soenke Lauterbach. The Dutch National Federation had previously hosted a similar webinar, which attracted an audience of close to 4,000.

Source: FEI website