AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS
AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS (AHS)
39.1.1 All HORSES and all FOALS shall be vaccinated against African Horse Sickness by a veterinary surgeon, using a registered, non-expired vaccine according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, in accordance with the programme of vaccination as published from time to time in the RACING CALENDAR. Such vaccine shall be supplied by the Veterinarian administering the vaccine.
39.2 The OWNER, the TRAINER and/or any other PERSON responsible for the care, treatment or training of a HORSE which is required to be vaccinated in accordance with RULE 39.1 shall be individually and jointly responsible for ensuring that such HORSE is so vaccinated.
39.3 The OWNER, the TRAINER and/or any other PERSON responsible for the care, treatment or training of a HORSE which is required to be vaccinated in terms of RULE 39.1 shall be guilty of an offence if such HORSE is not vaccinated as prescribed.
1. Acting in Terms of Rule 39.1.1., the NATIONAL BOARD has issued the following directive in respect of the compulsory vaccination of HORSES:
AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS VACCINATION PROGRAMME
2. All HORSES, except those referred to in 7. below, and those resident in Zimbabwe and the area defined in 3. below, shall be vaccinated against African Horse Sickness by a Veterinarian, using a registered, non-expired, polyvalent horse sickness vaccine according to the manufacturers’ recommendations :-
2.1 two sets of vaccines as FOALS between the ages of 6 and 18 months, not less than 30 days apart and, where possible, between 1 June and 31 October, and thereafter
2.2 every year between 1 June and 31 October.
3. No HORSE resident in the magisterial districts of Cape Town, Vredenburg, Hopefield, Moorreesburg, Malmesbury, Wellington, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Kuilsrivier, Goodwood, Wynberg, Bellville, Simonstown, Somerset West, Mitchells Plain and Strand, shall be vaccinated against African Horse Sickness unless written permission of the Director of Animal Health of the Republic of South Africa has been obtained.
4. Any HORSE, except those referred to in 7. below, moving from the area described in 3. above, to the rest of the country between 1 November and 1 May, which has not been vaccinated in terms of 2.2 above, shall be vaccinated as instructed in writing by a Veterinarian employed by the NATIONAL HORSERACING AUTHORITY.
5. HORSES resident in Zimbabwe shall be vaccinated against African Horse Sickness by a PERSON or a Veterinarian using a non-expired, registered, polyvalent horse sickness vaccine according to the schedule prescribed in 2.1 and 2.2 above.
6. All HORSES and FOALS resident in the magisterial districts of Clanwilliam, Piketberg, Ceres, Tulbach, Worcester, Caledon, Hermanus, Bredasdorp, Robertson, Montagu and Swellendam shall only be vaccinated between 1 June and 31 October.
7. All registered stallions and mares, standing on stud farms, except those referred to in 3. above, shall be vaccinated against African Horse Sickness by a Veterinarian, using a registered, non-expired, polyvalent horse sickness vaccine according to the manufacturers’ recommendations, at least once every calendar year and where possible, between 1 June and 31 October. (Amended 29.05.2015.)
Rule 39.2 and 39.3 also applies to influenza vaccinations.
NHA AHS vaccine requirements for horses moving out of the AHS surveillance and free zones.
PROTOCOL FOR THE AHS VACCINATION OF HORSES MOVING OUT OF THE AHS SURVEILLANCE AND FREE ZONES
1. The overriding principle is that according to NHA rules, horses racing outside of the AHS surveillance and free zones must have a valid AHS I and II vaccine, administered between 01 June and 31 October, in order to compete.
2. This implies that “raiders” must be properly vaccinated with official permission from the State Vet to vaccinate, BEFORE they leave the surveillance or free zone. Any horse that a trainer feels may be sent to race elsewhere in the country, should be vaccinated in the June to October period, as is done in the rest of the country. The State is not going to permit vaccination of these horses in the November to May period, except under exceptional circumstances and with strict quarantine and monitoring. Such a vaccine would then be considered valid for one year.
3. In the case of unvaccinated horses moving to the rest of the country as a permanent transfer or to race for a season (i.e. not to “raid” for a specific race), they must be vaccinated within a week of arrival, with the second vaccine administered 21 days later. The horse may NOT race until it has received both vaccinations. Should these vaccinations fall within the November to May period, the horse would then need to be revaccinated again that same year between June and October, in order to comply with the NHA rules.
4. There is however a principle that has been in place throughout the country, where a horse presented to race with a vaccine discrepancy, is permitted to race that day, but may not compete again until that discrepancy has been rectified. It would therefore be fair to allow a horse from the surveillance/free zone that has been vaccinated within the last 24 months, to leave the surveillance/free zone, compete in one race and return to the surveillance/free zone without having to be revaccinated. However, the assumption is that the horse fulfils ALL State requirements pertaining to moving back into the surveillance/free zone. This would only be allowed once. A horse may not move backwards and forwards between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town on a regular basis for example, without being vaccinated annually.
5. Likewise, a horse moving permanently to the rest of the country or to race for a season, would be allowed one race within the first week “unvaccinated”, but then the provisions of point 3 above would apply.
6. It is impossible to address every potential scenario in one document, so any queries in this regard MUST be referred to the NHA veterinarians, who will advise you in writing on how to vaccinate. To avoid unnecessary conflict, this should, where possible, take place PRIOR to any horse moving out of the surveillance/free zone.
An African Horse Sickness control policy has been created by the Western Cape government to control the movement of horses within the AHS Controlled Area. The regulations regarding the requirements to move horses, boundaries of the zones, entry/exit points between the zones, and a map of the zones can be found on the website: http://www.elsenburg.com/. The website also contains the information on current movement bans, and lifting of the movement bans.
The AHS movement control of horses across South Africa is subject to the regulations of the Department of Agriculture. The Director Veterinary Services, Western Cape recently issued a movement notice that is available to download. (Download Here)
AHS (African Horse Sickness) Movement Control
By following the links provided, trainers and owners can educate themselves the protocols.
The current provincial requirements to move into the controlled area: http://www.elsenburg.com/sites/default/files/attachments/2016-10-17/AHS-CONTROL-BROCHURE-Upd2016.10.pdf
For movements during high risk periods for AHS: http://www.elsenburg.com/sites/default/files/news/african%20horse%20sickenss/AHS%20Stop%20Over%20Quarantine%20Protocol%202017.pdf
Summarised Schematics: http://www.myhorse.org.za/infographics/basicmove.pdf
For any further queries do not hesitate to contact the Veterinary and Welfare Unit of the National Horseracing Authority.
39.7 EQUINE INFLUENZA
9.7.1 All HORSES and all FOALS shall be vaccinated by a PERSON or veterinary surgeon against Equine Influenza both in accordance with the programme of vaccinations and with a non-expired vaccine from the recommended list as determined by the NATIONAL BOARD and as published from time to time in the RACING CALENDAR; provided that only a veterinary surgeon shall supply and administer the vaccine to all HORSES trained by, or under the care, or in the stable of a TRAINER.
39.7.9 “Any HORSE or FOAL not vaccinated in accordance with RULE 39.7.1 will be required to be re-vaccinated according to the vaccination programme provided for in RULE 39.7.1
1. Acting in terms of Rule 39.7.1., the NATIONAL BOARD has issued the following directive in respect of the compulsory vaccination of HORSES
EQUINE INFLUENZA VACCINATION PROGRAMME
2. FOALS shall be given a primary course of vaccinations consisting of 2 vaccinations, administered between 4 and 6 weeks apart, both to be given after the age of 6 months but before 31 July of the year following its birth. Both vaccinations must be the same vaccine from the same manufacturer. Subsequent vaccinations must be given at intervals not exceeding 6 months.
3. All HORSES on training or spelling establishments shall be vaccinated at intervals not exceeding 6 months.
4. All registered stallions and mares standing on stud farms shall be vaccinated at intervals not exceeding 12 months.
5. “Notwithstanding 1. to 4. above, a licenced veterinarian in the employ of the NHA may, in his sole discretion, allow a 21 day extension of the 6 month interval as defined in 2. and 3. above.An African Horse Sickness control policy has been created by the Western Cape government to control the movement of horses within the AHS Controlled Area. The regulations regarding the requirements to move horses, boundaries of the zones, entry/exit points between the zones, and a map of the zones can be found on the website: http://www.elsenburg.com/. The website also contains the information on current movement bans, and lifting of the movement bans.
EQUINE HERPES VIRUS
GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH EQUINE HERPES VIRUS
Equine Herpes virus is a disease endemic to South Africa (and most of the world) causing abortions in mares, respiratory problems in young horses and possibly also neurological disease. The neurological syndrome is seldom seen in the Southern Hemisphere but may occur.
The major problem for the racing industry, apart from abortions on stud farms, is the “down time” and resultant economic loss when young horses in racing yards suffer from respiratory infections. These are not all caused by Herpes virus, but it would probably play a significant role in most cases. This is largely due to the fact that any form of stress will allow Herpes virus to flourish and young horses coming from the farm into racing yards are placed under severe stress.
There is a vaccine available, but the immunity provided by vaccinating appears to be short- lived. Some vets advocate vaccinating every 3 months with 6 months being the maximum interval to provide cover. It is however a disease that can partly be controlled by good management techniques like quarantining young horses when they enter the training yards, keeping stress to a minimum and reducing their exposure to other horses and dust.
Obviously, if these horses were vaccinated on the stud farms it would help to boost their immunity, but vaccinating them as soon as they arrive in the training yard will also get their immunity up. This combined with good management would go a long way to addressing the problem.
The NHA does not feel at this stage that it is necessary to regulate the administration of the vaccine. An investigation in to the prevalence and causes of respiratory problems in young racehorses is going to be undertaken. Should this research give us reason to change our approach, we will revisit the possibility of compulsory vaccination. We feel that the onus is on the Trainer and his vet to implement all the vaccination and management techniques pertinent to their circumstances, to help control this disease. Owners should be aware that vaccination against Equine Herpes virus is a far cheaper “insurance policy” than having to treat their young horses when they get sick. However, there are no guarantees and the immunity provided is short-lived and requires frequent vaccination to maintain.