African Horse Sickeness (AHS)

African Horse Sickeness (AHS)

39.1 AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS

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.

AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS VACCINATION PROGRAMME

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:

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.

PROTOCOL FOR THE AHS VACCINATION OF HORSES MOVING OUT OF THE AHS SURVEILLANCE AND FREE ZONES

NHA AHS vaccine requirements for 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.

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.