For the past few years, there have been several EHV/EIV outbreaks at horse shows throughout the United States that have caused chaos on showgrounds and back at the stables when horses return home from traveling. In order to alleviate concerns of horse owners who attend Federation-licensed competitions, as well as their fellow boarders, the United States Equestrian Federation approved an addition to the USEF rule book to modify vaccination requirements for horses attending competitions. GR845 requires all horses entering the grounds of a Federation-licensed competition be accompanied by documentation of Equine Influenza Virus (EIV) and Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the showgrounds.
These guidelines were determined by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and are reviewed by infectious disease experts regularly. The recommendation is to vaccinate against Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus every six months, and it is a requirement for any horse attending a competition. EHV causes four conditions: respiratory disease, abortion, neonatal disease, and Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a neurologic disease. The EHV/EIV vaccination does NOT protect against EHM, but it can reduce the severity of it. Similarly, none of the EHV/EIV vaccines currently available can promise complete protection against clinical disease. The best that can be hoped for is a reduction in the severity of clinical signs and the amount of shedding of EHV/EIV.
While the USEF vaccination requirement approach will not guarantee protection of individual horses against EHV, the hope is that reduced nasal shedding of infectious EHV will indirectly help protect other horses by reducing the dose of virus to which they are exposed.
What EXACTLY do you need for the new rule?
If the vaccine is administered by a veterinarian, you need to be able to produce documentation FROM the veterinarian listing the name of the vaccine and date of vaccination. We’ll provide this on a vaccine certificate, along with your negative coggins test and health certificate.
If the vaccine is administered by someone other than a veterinarian, you need to be able to provide:
- A receipt of the vaccine purchase;
- The name, serial number, and expiration date of the vaccine,
- The date of vaccine administration.
If your horse is unable to receive either of the vaccinations due to a history of adverse reactions, you must provide:
- A letter, on veterinary letterhead, stating that the horse cannot be vaccinated due to medical concerns;
- A log of temperatures taken twice daily for the seven days prior to entering the competition show grounds (does not need to be performed by a veterinarian);
- A log of temperatures taken twice daily while at the competition show grounds.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 608-845-6006, or ask your veterinarian for additional details. If you want more information about EHV, EHM, and biosecurity measures you can take to protect your horse, go and read about EHV-1 in the Midwest: How to Protect Your Horse.
Thanks for reading,