Page 17 - XLEquine - Plan Prevent Protect - Biosecurity Booklet

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4. Vaccination
Vaccination helps combat infection by stimulating an immune response which may either prevent disease occurring or reduce the severity of
disease and the potential spread to other animals. Immunisation is most effective when a high percentage of the population is vaccinated. It is
important to note that adoption of vaccination does not mean that other aspects of biosecurity can be ignored.
Equine influenza
It is recommended that all horses are vaccinated for influenza. Vaccination is effective but owing to the changing nature of the influenza virus may
not provide complete protection.
The primary vaccination course requires two vaccinations given four to six weeks apart (21-92 days permitted under rules). The third vaccination
must be given at an interval of five to six months (150-215 days permitted under rules). Booster vaccinations should be given at intervals of not
more than one year (most rules) or in the preceding six months for FEI competitions. Vaccination can begin from 5 months of age.
All horses should be vaccinated against this fatal disease, tetanus is normally incorporated in the primary influenza vaccination course and
boosters are given every second year. Vaccination is extremely effective at preventing disease.
Equine herpesvirus
Equine herpesvirus vaccination is recommended especially for breeding establishments. Vaccination does not afford complete protection but
vaccinated horses are usually less severely affected and less infectious. Vaccination is most effective when done on a ‘whole yard’ basis.
For the prevention of respiratory disease two primary vaccinations should be given four to six weeks apart with booster vaccinations given at six
month intervals. Foals can be vaccinated from three months of age.
For the prevention of equine herpesvirus abortion brood mares should be vaccinated at five, seven and nine months of pregnancy.
No vaccination is licensed to protect against the neurological form of the disease.
Vaccination may be recommended on some yards following specific risk assessment. The vaccine is given via a very small needle into the
underside of the upper lip. Vaccination does not afford complete protection, but reduces the severity of disease.
Vaccination involves a primary course of two vaccinations given four weeks apart and booster vaccinations should be given every three to six
months depending on risk levels.
‘Strangles’ vaccination will lead to positive blood tests, which may cause some issues with horse movements onto premises that employ strict
preventive biosecurity measures for strangles.
Vaccination of the pregnant mare is advisable in situations where there is a high foal population and frequent movement of animals on and off
studs or a history of infection. The antibodies are then produced in the colostrum, so to get the protection the foal must suckle well within the first
six hours. Pregnant mares are vaccinated in the eight, ninth and tenth month of pregnancy.
Vaccination is recommended in breeding stallions and teasers.
An initial course of two vaccinations is given three to six weeks apart with boosters given at
six monthly
intervals. Vaccinated horses cannot be
distinguished from infected horses when tested, so before vaccination horses must be confirmed to be free from disease by blood testing and this
result must be recorded in the passport together with all vaccinations.
West Nile virus
There is no evidence of a current UK problem but horses and yards with contact and travel to and from the US and Mediterranean countries
would benefit from vaccination. Two vaccines are given three to six weeks apart followed by annual boosters.
Yard biosecurity plan: preventing disease
needs attention
already in place
not applicable
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