02 Mar 2001 Pre-2014 Releases

The BHB and the Jockey Club today (2nd March 2001) issued Instructions and Guidelines to racecourses, trainers, owners, jockeys and the racegoing public, for use when racing resumes on Wednesday 7th March. The purpose of the Instructions and Guidelines is to prevent any possible spread of Foot and Mouth Disease by any person, horse or vehicle entering or leaving a racecourse at a race meeting or in the days leading up to racing.

The document has been compiled in conjunction with, and supported by, MAFF officials, and after consultation with other horseracing and veterinary organisations. The Instructions and Guidelines themselves have been authorised and published by the Jockey Club as an Instruction, and any non-compliance with the Instruction may constitute a breach of the Rules, and consequently result in disciplinary action.

Baroness Hayman, Minister of State (Lords) at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has already applauded the responsible attitude being taken by the racing authorities.

Paul Greeves, Racing Director of the BHB said today ¡§The BHB and Jockey Club are very keen to ensure that everyone involved in racing can be confident that their actions will not spread this terrible disease. These Instructions and Guidelines have been drawn up in close consultation with MAFF officials, and will be strictly enforced.

¡§As was the case prior to the temporary suspension of racing, fixtures due to take place at racecourses which find themselves within an Infected Area will be cancelled. However other than this, it is possible to stage race meetings which present a negligible risk of spreading the disease. Government officials are comfortable that we should continue racing, particularly with these additional Instructions and Guidelines in place.

¡§However, we do recognise the emotional and physical links those within the sport have with the farming industry and will understand if trainers and / or owners are unwilling, despite the thorough precautions that will be in force at all racecourses, to send their horses racing¡¨.

The racing industry is fully supported by all other recognised equine governing bodies and veterinary organisations, who themselves today issued a detailed protocol for the equestrian community.

James Wood, Head of Epidemiology at the Animal Health Trust, said ¡§We fully endorse the guidelines issued by racing today, which will enable those both within and outside the industry to have confidence that a resumption of racing will present a negligible risk of spreading infection.¡¨


For further information please contact:

Paul Greeves, BHB, 020 7343 3306 or 07901 510079
Alan Delmonte, BHB, 020 7343 3318 or 07931 701536
Peter Webbon, Chief Veterinary Adviser, 01600 891183 or 07785 228872
John Maxse, Jockey Club, 020 7343 3219 or 07785 243232

Fact sheet attached

For a full copy of the Instructions and Guidelines see or

Appendix A
Joint BHB / Jockey Club Statement

Copy of the Fact Sheet on Foot and Mouth Disease issued to all trainers

Foot and Mouth Disease affects ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, deer etc.) and pigs, but not people, horses, chickens, dogs and cats.

How is it transmitted?

Infection can be direct or indirect.

DIRECT spread is commonly implicated in all outbreaks. It occurs when susceptible animals are mixed with infectious animals (that may be outwardly healthy but incubating the disease) in markets or on dealer¡¦s farms. Unlike many diseases, the virus can also be blown by wind from infected to susceptible animals.

INDIRECT spread occurs when the virus is shed by an infected animal, the infection remains on, for example, pasture, or on the surface of clothing, footwear or non-susceptible animals such as foxes, dogs or horses, until it is picked up by a susceptible animal. Indirect spread commonly occurs when susceptible animals are carried in a lorry, or housed in a shed, that has recently been vacated by infected animals. Similarly, the disease could be spread by a farm worker who feeds a group of infected animals then, carrying the virus on his clothes or his boots, goes into a shed housing susceptible animals.

Whilst the direct spread of Foot and Mouth Disease cannot be controlled once the animals are mixed, indirect spread can be controlled by hygiene and disinfection.

For example:

Page 2 ¡V Appendix A

It is possible to imagine any number of ways in which the disease could be spread indirectly. However, the chain of events that would have to occur to transmit infection via vehicles, people or horses at a race meeting is very complex. The more links that there are in a chain of indirect infection, the less likely it is to happen, and the easier it is to break the chain (by good hygiene and disinfection) at several points along its length.

It is for this reason that the Jockey Club is advised that the risk posed by racing to the farming community is small and manageable, and has proposed the following means to control the spread of the disease when racing resumes:

„h All cars entering and exiting racecourse property will pass through a disinfected wheel wash.

„h All pedestrians entering racecourse property will have to walk through a disinfectant pool/tray.

„h All lorries will pass through a wheel wash and spray on arrival, then will be thoroughly power washed and disinfected before leaving. This will ensure that there is no chance that the virus could be carried by the lorry from the racecourse in the unlikely event that it has picked up the virus in the lorry park.

„h Trainers will be required to clean and disinfect horses feet before leaving their yards.

„h Vehicles transporting racehorses will not be used for transporting any other species of animal.