Stud Health


THE STUD HEALTH SCHEME

Introduction

The Stud Health Scheme is published in terms of Rule 33 of “The Rules of The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa” (http://www.nhra.co.za/pubs/docs/rules/Rules_2014_12.pdf) and includes Appendix L: Stud Health Scheme.

In terms of Rule 33:
Every mare and stallion owner is obliged to comply with the requirements of the Stud Health Scheme as published from time to time in the RACING CALENDAR. Failure to comply with the Stud Health Scheme constitutes a serious veterinary health risk and may result in the cancellation of the REGISTRATION of the breeder concerned. Requirements in terms of CONTAGIOUS AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES under 33.2 includes: the obligation for every mare and stallion owner to notify the CHIEF EXECUTIVE of any case, or suspected case, of any of the diseases published in the RACING CALENDAR from time to time which affects any horse under his care; to not move any horse from a stud farm, spelling farm, training establishment, race course, auction sale or any other property where horses are kept, on which a contagious or infectious disease is present except where a veterinary certificate confirming that the movement of such horse does not constitute a veterinary health risk has been obtained; instruct and authorise his veterinarian to notify the CHIEF EXECUTIVE of any case, or suspected case, of any of the diseases published in the RACING CALENDAR from time to time which affects any horse under his care

Specified contagious and infectious diseases are;
a) Trypanosoma equiperdum (Dourine)
b) Taylorella equigenitalis (CEM)
c) Pseudomonas aeruginosa
d) Klebsiella pneumoniae (capsule types 1, 2, 5)

Surveillance for, and testing of, specified diseases in stallions
a) Dourine
All registered stallions shall be tested for dourine annually prior to the first covering of the season. As a controlled disease in terms of the Animal Diseases Act (No. 35 of 1984), by law any suspicion or confirmation of Dourine, must be reported to the nearest state veterinarian and control measures must be prescribed. The salient regulatory point with respect to dourine stipulates that testing is performed at the request of the owner subject to the owner signing an indemnity form stipulating either the destruction or sterilisation (castration or ovariectomy) of any positive animal to prevent further transmission.
b) Taylorella equigenitalis (CEM)
All registered stallions shall be tested for T. equigenitalis annually and obtain a CEM clearance certificate prior to the first covering of the season
c) Pseudomonas aeruginosa
All registered stallions shall be tested for this organism by swabbing for a PCR assay annually prior to the first covering of the season
d) Klebsiella pneumoniae (capsule types 1, 2, 5)
All registered stallions shall be tested for this organism by swabbing for a PCR assay annually prior to the first covering of the season.
Risk factors
It is strongly recommended that any teaser (stallion or gelding) or non-Thoroughbred stallion resident on a property used for the purposes of Thoroughbred breeding should be similarly tested for the specified infectious diseases as listed above

Surveillance for, and testing of, specified diseases in maiden and barren mares
a) Dourine
All maiden and barren mares shall be tested by collection of a blood sample prior to being covered and a negative serological test result shall be entered under Section B of the “Certificate of Stud Health for maiden and barren mares”. As a controlled disease in terms of the Animal Diseases Act (No. 35 of 1984), by law any suspicion or confirmation of Dourine, must be reported to the nearest state veterinarian and control measures must be prescribed. The salient regulatory point with respect to dourine stipulates that testing is performed at the request of the owner subject to the owner signing an indemnity form stipulating either the destruction or sterilisation (ovariectomy) of any positive animal to prevent further transmission.

Certification for maiden, barren mares and repeat breeding mares
All maiden and barren mares, as defined below shall be examined by a currently-registered veterinarian prior to being covered for both the prevention of transmission of the specified diseases and detection of carrier status. The mare’s OWNER (or agent) shall ensure that a “Certificate of Stud Health for maiden and barren mares” is completed at the time of the veterinary examination.

A copy of this Certificate is appended below. Completion of both Part A (by the Owner or agent) and Part B (by the veterinarian) of this Certificate is compulsory. Part C consists of the uterine bacteriological exam for barren and repeat breeding mares (Mares returning to be covered for the third time by any stallion.) Completion of Part D is optional and at the discretion of the Owner (or agent) or veterinarian, or as required by the covering stallion contract. Negative PCR test results for Taylorella equigenitalis (CEM), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae (capsule type 1, 2, 5) are to be entered, and the form signed and stamped by the registered veterinarian.

One copy of the abovementioned certificate shall be retained by the mare OWNER or the farm manager, one copy thereof shall be given to the OWNER or the farm manager of the stallion which subsequently covers the mare and one copy thereof shall be sent to the TBA.

Maiden mares: Are fillies or mares going to stud or being covered by a stallion for the first time. Barren mares include mares:
i. which did not conceive in the previous season;
ii. which aborted.
iii. Were not bred

3. Action to be taken if Dourine is detected from a serological test from a blood sample submitted from a stallion, maiden or barren mare.
The control measures prescribed in terms of the Animal Diseases Act stipulates either the destruction or sterilisation (by castration or ovariectomy) of any positive animal to prevent further transmission.

4. Action to be taken if a specified bacterial organism known to cause a venereal condition (these organisms shall, inter alia, include Taylorella equigenitalis (CEM), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae (capsule type 1, 2, 5), is detected from a clitoral or other sample taken from a maiden or barren mare.
Such mare shall not be covered until a veterinarian (or in the case of T. equigenitalis by a State veterinarian in terms of the appropriate Procedure manual) has certified that it is safe to do so.

5. Action to be taken In the case of a positive PCR test result for either Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Klebsiella pneumoniae (capsule type 1, 2, 5)
It is recommended that the mare is re-swabbed for the purpose of bacterial culture and antibiogram in order to facilitate appropriate antimicrobial treatment under the supervision of a veterinarian.


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.


AHS (African Horse Sickness) Movement Control

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)
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
http://myhorse.org.za/infographics/movepztosz.pdf
For any further queries do not hesitate to contact the Veterinary and Welfare Unit of the National Horseracing Authority.


EQUINE INFLUENZA

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


EQUINE INFLUENZA VACCINATION PROGRAMME

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
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.