What You Need to do to Protect your Livelihood and your Industry
Handling Horses & Monitoring
Some simple procedures in daily routines can play their part in restricting the spread of Equine Influenza. Protect your horses by following these basic rules:
- Isolate new arrivals from existing horses.
- If horses are stabled, take daily rectal temperatures. This is an effective way of monitoring for the occurrence of disease.
- Segregate horses by age and use; e.g., keep yearlings separate from older horses and pregnant mares, and competition horses away from stay-at-home horses.
- Isolate sick horses at the first sign of illness, keeping their gear separate.
- Wash hands between handling groups of horses. Handle sick horses last.
- Keep records of horses' movements so that they and their contacts can be tracked in the event of a disease outbreak.
- Control insects and rodents. Ensure there is good drainage and manure disposal and management to prevent insects like mosquitoes and March flies from breeding.
- Clean and disinfect stables, equipment and transport vehicles regularly.
- Clean equipment like twitches with disinfectant.
Personal Hygiene & Contact
Maintaining high levels of personal hygiene is vital as the EI virus can be transmitted by humans on skin and clothing and on gear and equipment.
RWWA recommends that, where possible, contact should be minimised between ANY groups of horses. Where contact between groups of horses does occur:
- Prior to handling any horses, people should thoroughly shower and practice good hygiene standards;
- Clothing and footwear (e.g., riding boots) used whilst in contact with one group should not be used when subsequently handling another group;
- If it is absolutely necessary to use the same clothing and footwear, they must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to handling the next group of horses.
All jockeys and riders who work at different tracks must:
- Disinfect any gear that has been used; and
- Change boots and clothes.
Reporting suspect horses - your vital role
If you experience an unusual number of sick horses with high temperatures or animals and you suspect Equine Influenza you must take the following actions:
- Immediately contact your veterinarian and isolate the horse from other horses in the stable;
- Contact the Emergency Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888;
- Notify RWWA Stewards (Thoroughbreds) 08 9277 0777; or RWWA Stewards (Harness) 08 9323 3555
- Clean and disinfect the stable and any gear that has been used by the suspect horse, or horses.
Your legal obligation
Please note - it is an offence at law not to report the disease.
For further assistance RWWA Veterinary Department: 08 9277 0759 or 0419 933 719 (Dr Judith Medd); 0404 893 041 (Dr Peter Symons)
For further updates please return to the RWWA website or listen to Racing Radio 1206AM.