ISSUED BY THE JOCKEY CLUB AND THE BRITISH HORSERACING BOARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE FISHERIES AND FOOD (MAFF)
This document has been produced by the Jockey Club and British Horseracing Board in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) and after consultation with other horseracing and veterinary organisations.
The purpose of the Instructions and Guidelines in this document 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.
The document (sections 3-5) has been authorised and published by the Jockey Club as an Instruction to all licensed individuals/entities under Rule 1A (xiii) of the Rules of Racing. Any non-compliance with this Instruction may constitute a breach of Rule 221B (i) of the Rules of Racing and may result in disciplinary action being taken.
TRAINERS SHOULD NOTE THAT THE PROVISION FOR STABLING RUNNERS AT A RACECOURSE THE NIGHT BEFORE RACING HAS BEEN SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE AS THE CARRYING OUT OF THE FULL DISINFECTION PROCESS CANNOT OTHERWISE BE GUARANTEED.
SECTION TWO: BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND GENERAL ADVICE
2.1 THE DISEASE
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is caused by a highly infectious virus which can infect cattle, sheep, goats and all ruminating animals and pigs (farm animals). It does not infect horses, people or dogs. The disease is usually spread by:-
a) direct contact between animals of susceptible species;
b) susceptible animals occupying buildings or transporters previously occupied by diseased animals;
c) close contact between stock men, healthy and diseased animals;
d) wind borne infection between animals of susceptible species.
There is a small risk that material from an infected animal could be carried on the feet or clothing of people, or on horses or vehicles and people from areas containing infected animals to previously “clean” areas.
2.2. RESTRICTIONS WHICH MAY APPLY AS A RESULT OF FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
The following is a summary of the restrictions that may impact upon the equine industry if an Infected Area is declared.
a. Horses and farm animals
Because horses are not susceptible to Foot and Mouth disease, they are not covered by the Foot and Mouth Order. This means that there is no automatic legal restriction on their movement in an Infected Area, except on or off an infected farm, and they are not included in the nationwide ban on the movement of farm animals. However, all involved in training and racing horses, either under Orders and Rules or in Point to Point races, must take all reasonable precautions to ensure that they do not inadvertently contribute to the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease amongst farm animals.
b. Infected Areas
When an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease is confirmed, the Ministry declares an area around the infected premises to be an “”Infected Area””. The Infected Area extends for a distance of not less than 10km radius around the Infected Place but its size may be greater if information from epidemiologists (veterinarians and scientists who study the spread of a disease) suggests that prevailing weather conditions may have caused a “virus plume” to disseminate the disease further.
The Infected Area is defined by reference to topographical and other easily identifiable physical features which can be found on the 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain. Movements of farm animals in this area are kept to a minimum and certain other restrictions are enforced. The Infected Area is imposed by a Special Order made under the provisions of the foot-and-mouth legislation.
Infected Areas currently imposed can be found on the MAFF web site at www.maff.gov.uk
c. Controlled Areas
A Controlled Area is of much greater extent than an Infected Area and is imposed when there is good reason to believe that there has been or is likely to be widespread dissemination of the disease. Usually this occurs when potentially infected animals have been widely distributed through markets and dealers etc. Its main purpose is to enable veterinary staff to trace these animals, inspect them, require their isolation and impose restrictions on the premises of destination before they move further.
Within a Controlled Area the movement of farm animals is controlled by licence and stock markets are normally closed. A Controlled Area is normally in force for a short period but it may encompass a very wide area in order to reduce farm animal movement when the country is experiencing a major epidemic of FMD. At the time of writing the whole of Britain has been declared a Controlled Area up to and including 16th March.
2.3 GENERAL ADVICE FOR PEOPLE LEAVING AN INFECTED AREA
Persons resident on a farm, or any premises holding farm animals, in an Infected Area should avoid coming into contact with any other farm animals and should refrain from going into fields or premises where such stock may be driven later.
Before leaving the Infected Area they should:-
a) disinfect all footwear used;
b) wear clothes which have had no possible contact with farm stock – if there is any doubt the clothes should be dry cleaned;
c) wash with plenty of hot water and soap, not forgetting the hair;
d) disinfect the outside of any item that may have been in contact with other articles in general use on the farm.
People having no contact with farm animals need take no special precautions except to keep away from farm animals and to travel on main roads wherever possible.
2.4 RESTRICTIONS AND PRECAUTIONS ON OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN AN INFECTED AREA
Hunting, including the hunting and stalking of deer, point-to-point racing, the shooting, or attempted shooting at game or other wildlife, and the racing or coursing or the training for any racing or coursing of hounds or other dogs are prohibited within an Infected Area. Although horse racing is not specifically mentioned in the Order, it can be prohibited by a Ministry notice.
Any other sporting or recreational activity which could cause infection to spread in an Infected Area can be prohibited by MAFF. These powers could be invoked, for example, to prevent the holding of any recreational fixture which involved entry on land used by susceptible animals or in the vicinity of Infected Premises. The land in question must be specified in the notice and each case must be considered on its merits from a disease standpoint. This could include hunter trials, eventing, cross country rides, hacking across farmland.
The following general advice applies to activities in an Infected Area:-
a) Visits to all sites, but especially those with farm animals, must be restricted to those that are absolutely essential and then be subject to disinfection routines;
b) Persons from rural parts of Infected Areas should not go on to land where there is livestock.
2.5 DISINFECTION AND APPROVED DISINFECTANTS
A dirty surface must be cleaned before it can be satisfactorily disinfected. Dirt, essentially of organic origin, may nutralise the disinfectant and make it useless. It is therefore most important that anything which must be disinfected is first soaked with an approved disinfectant, then thoroughly washed and cleaned and finally washed down with an approved disinfectant.
You must use an APPROVED DISINFECTANT.
A list of those approved for use against foot-and-mouth disease and the dilutions at which they must be used are available on the MAFF website at www.maff.gov.uk or from your Veterinary Surgeon. Since concentrated disinfectants are very often irritant, attendants handling the disinfectant or using sprays will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, wearing protective clothing as necessary.
SECTION THREE: RESPONSIBILITIES OF RACECOURSE MANAGING EXECUTIVES
There is a very small risk that the mixing of people and vehicles, some of which may have travelled from an Infected Area to a race meeting, could lead to the spread of the Foot and Mouth Disease virus to susceptible farm animals. The principle of managing this risk is to disinfect vehicles, horses’ feet and the feet of members of the public on arrival at the racecourse, and as they leave it. Instructions to the Managing Executives of racecourses cover:-
3.1 HORSEBOXES AND HORSES
a) Horse boxes must enter and exit the horsebox park via a wheel bath which is at least 3.5 metres from front to back and in which there is at least 7.5cm of clean Ministry approved disinfectant. (See Annex A for wheels baths and alternative approved pads).
b) Racecourses are to provide two suitably equipped attendants to spray the wheels of incoming horseboxes with disinfectant after they have passed through the disinfectant tray.
c) Horsesboxes are to pass through a control point in the horsebox park before parking up or off loading horses. This is to be manned by a Jockey Club Official who will collect trainers’ certificates of compliance (See Annex B) from the horsebox drivers. A vehicle without a certificate of compliance will not be allowed to unload unless:-
a satisfactory facsimile copy is provided;
a suitable explanation is accepted by the Stewards of the Meeting.
d) Having passed through the control point horseboxes will unload in the normal way and horses will be taken to the stable yard. Horseboxes are to be directed to park in such a way that they can be inspected by the Jockey Club Veterinary Officer and if necessary thoroughly cleaned with a power hose. All vehicles must be disinfected by racecourse personnel during the course of the race meeting.
N.B. Horseboxes are to leave the horsebox park after racing via a disinfectant tray. There will be no requirements for any further disinfection.
e) A footbath or tray containing at least 5cm of Ministry approved disinfectant is to be located within the horsebox park for use by horsebox drivers, trainers or attendants before they take horses into the racecourse stables. Provision must be made for cleaning boots/shoes prior to disinfection.
f) Similar trays and buckets of disinfectant must be placed at all pedestrian entrances/exits to the horsebox park.
g) A disinfectant pad of a minimum length of 12ft and width of 12ft is to be placed outside the entrance to the stable yard so that all horses entering the yard have to be led over it.
3.2 VEHICLES OTHER THAN HORSEBOXES
a) All vehicles must pass through a wheel bath which is at least 3.5m from front to back and in which there is at least 7.5cm of clean Ministry approved disinfectant.
b) Horse recover vehicles, horse ambulances and other veterinary vehicles must be power washed and disinfected before arrival at the racecourse.
3.3 THE PUBLIC
The public must enter and exit the racecourse only by official access points at which they are to be disinfectant pads or trays with clean Ministry approved disinfectant (Buckets and brushes for cleaning are also to be available). Under no circumstances may the public be allowed outside the designated public areas.
3.4 FARM ANIMALS
Where courses have farm animals, probably sheep, within the racecourse boundary, racing may only go ahead if:-
a) steps are taken to preclude members of the public, horses or vehicles from coming into contact with farm animals or the ground which they graze;
b) no ground to which the public, horses or vehicles have access has been grazed by farm livestock for at least 14 days.
Suitable signage is to be provided by the Managing Executive in relation to 3.1 to 3.4 above. In addition, general information notices about the precautions to avoid the inadvertent spread of Foot and Mouth Disease must be displayed and may be included in the race card. Racecourses will be provided with standard wording for this by the Racecourse Association.
3.6 NON RACE DAYS
All public access to racecourse premises is to be carefully controlled and where practicable pedestrians and dogs should be discouraged. Where there is any other activity or gathering (golf, conferences etc) on the racecourse taking place within five days of the start of a fixture, all vehicles should pass through a wheel bath which is at least 3.5 metres from front to back and in which there is at least 7.5cm of clean, Ministry approved disinfectant.
SECTION FOUR: RESPONSIBILITIES OF TRAINERS (LICENSED, PERMITTED AND THOSE HAVING CARE OF HUNTER CHASERS)
4.1 ALL TRAINERS
All trainers are to:-
a) avoid using any ground occupied by farm animals and not take horses to school or exercise away from their own premises or usual exercise grounds;
b) travel directly to and from race meetings avoiding any premises holding farm animals, using main roads where possible.
4.2 MEASURES APPLICABLE TO ALL TRAINERS
a) take all reasonable steps at all times to avoid land where susceptible animals graze;
b) ensure effective segregation between horses and susceptible farm animals. In particular there should be no sharing of yards, buildings, equipment or personnel;
c) if horses leave the premises, other than for their gallops, their shoes should be picked out, cleaned thoroughly with a stiff brush and water; their belly and legs washed off if dirty and hooves painted with a suitable Ministry approved disinfectant which is safe to come into contact with the skin. Repeat the same process when the horses return;
“horses are not to be transported in vehicles which have been used to transport susceptible farm animals.
Before leaving the training establishments the following procedures must be followed with regard to horseboxes:-
a) the wheels and underside of the vehicle must be washed to remove all dirt, mud and faeces;
b) the wheels and underside of the vehicle must then be sprayed with a Ministry approved disinfectant;
c) the vehicle must drive through a wheel bath which is at least 3.5m from front to back and in which there is at least 5cm of Ministry approved disinfectant or be driven over a disinfectant pad of at least 3.5m from front to rear and treated with Ministry approved disinfectant.
a) wear clean clothes;
b) do not wear any clothes that have had contact with susceptible farm animals;
c) disinfect your shoes/boots before leaving the yard;
d) disinfect your shoes/boots on return and clothes should be changed before there is any contact with susceptible farm animals;
e) take the minimum amount of personal belongings and equipment to the racecourse.
4.3 GENERAL MAFF ADVICE APPLICABLE TO ALL TRAINERS
a) you should ensure you maintain the highest standards of hygiene for all movements on and off your establishment;
b) you should have only one combined entrance and exit. Display the name of the establishment and the telephone number on the gate. Keep the gate locked;
c) you should consider providing a means of contact between your establishment entrance and house for essential callers, e.g. a bell. Supply a tub of disinfectant, a brush for scrubbing footwear and a spray pump. Keep the disinfectant solution clean-renew it daily;
d) stop all non-essential vehicles and visitors from entering the establishment and arrange whenever possible for collection and delivery of supplies to take place at establishment boundary;
e) keep a record of all deliveries. In the event of disease being confirmed this may help in epidemiological investigations;
f) where possible, house all susceptible farm animals or keep them away from the perimeter of your establishment;
g) ensure you complete all records of stock movements as required by existing legislation;
h) keep dogs, cats and poultry under control;
i) make every effort to destroy rats and other vermin. They may spread disease;
j) keep any stock away from household waste, bones or swill;
k) limit contact with other peoples’ farm animals and with other keepers of farm animals. Should you have any contact with them, before you go near your own animals, disinfect your footwear, change your clothes and wash with hot water and soap, including your hair. Any item or object that may have had contact with disease must also be disinfected.
4.4 TRAINERS’ CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
Before taking horses to a racecourse the trainer must complete a certificate of compliance (See Annex B), which is to be given to the driver of the horsebox. This certificate must be handed to the Jockey Club Officials manning the control point in the Racecourse Horsebox Park.
SECTION FIVE: RESPONSIBILITIES OF RACEHORSE TRANSPORTERS AND TECHNICAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
The following section has been based on the code of practice drawn up by the Racehorse Transporters Association Ltd.
5.1 GENERAL ADVICE
Horse transporters should give due consideration as to whether or not it is appropriate to take horseboxes onto properties that have farm animals susceptible to FMD. It is strongly recommended that no straw or hay is carried and when required, alternative bedding should be used.
5.2 WHEN LEAVING DEPOT
Vehicles are to be power washed and all surfaces thoroughly disinfected using a MAFF approved disinfectant paying particular attention to internal stalls/floors (racehorse transporters only), tyres, wheel arches, lower/undersides and the entire rear panel of the vehicle.
Vehicles are to carry a suitable amount of MAFF approved disinfectant for the job undertaken and spraying equipment sufficient to carry out disinfectant on those occasions when a vehicle does not return to its depot.
5.3 WHEN ENTERING TRAINERS’ YARDS/RACECOURSES
a) All tyres, wheel arches, lower/undersides of the vehicle is to be sprayed with a MAFF approved disinfectant.
b) All personnel are to disinfect their own footwear with a MAFF approved disinfectant.
c) Horsebox ramps are to be sprayed with a MAFF approved disinfectant prior to and after loading horses (Racehorse transporters only).
d) Horses’ hooves are to be washed/sprayed with a MAFF approved disinfectant prior to loading (Racehorse transporters only).
e) Once a horse has vacated a stall within the vehicle it is to be washed and thoroughly sprayed with a MAFF approved disinfectant (Racehorse transporters only).
5.4 WHEN LEAVING A RACECOURSE
Racehorse Transporters will follow the same procedures as horseboxes. Technical Service providers are not required to undergo the same cleaning and disinfection procedures in the horsebox park as horseboxes, but they must enter and leave the racecourse via a disinfection tray.
SECTION SIX: RESPONSIBILITIES OF JOCKEYS, JOCKEYS’ VALETS AND BHB/JOCKEY CLUB OFFICIALS
In view of the fact that BHB and Jockey Club Officials, jockeys and jockeys valets will be travelling between many different racecourses and are likely to pass through Infected Areas on a regular basis, they are required to take particular care to minimise the risk of inadvertently transmitting the disease. The following precautions shall be taken:
a) clean and disinfect your vehicle on a regular basis, taking particular note of the wheels, inside and out, and underside of the vehicle;
b) wear clean clothes;
c) wear shoes or boots that can be disinfected with a brush or in a tray;
d) disinfect your footwear before you get in your car;
e) take the minimum amount of personal belongings and equipment to the racecourse.
6.2 FARM ANIMALS
If you own/have any contact with farm animals:-
a) check that all livestock is healthy before leaving home;
b) do not wear any clothes that may have had contact with farm animals;
c) on return home, disinfect your vehicle and boots and change your clothes before you are in contact again with farm animals.
SECTION SEVEN; GUIDANCE FOR THE RACE-GOING PUBLIC (INCLUDING LOCAL CONTRACTORS AND BOOKMAKERS)
For most members of the public, attendance at a race meeting poses no threat to themselves, or of inadvertently transmitting the disease. However, persons who have contact with farm animals are advised that there is a risk that the disease may be passed on through contact at organised events such as a race meeting. Though the risk of this indirect transmission is very low, there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce further the risk:-
a) wear stout shoes or boots that can be disinfected either with a brush or in a tray;
b) your vehicle, along with other items taken from the premises may contain potentially infected material. These should be cleansed and disinfected, especially the wheels and underside of the vehicle;
c) disinfect your footwear before you enter the vehicle;
d) if you are in doubt as to whether you may pose a risk of spreading disease, stay at home;
e) bring the minimum amount of personnel belongings and equipment.
7.2 FARM ANIMALS
If you own/have any contact with farm animals:-
a) Check that all livestock is healthy before leaving home;
b) Do not wear working clothes and footwear. Clothes and footwear should have been washed, cleaned or disinfected if they have been in contact with farm animals;
c) On return home, disinfect your vehicle and boots and change your clothes before inspecting your stock.
SECTION EIGHT: ANNEX A
CLEANING AND DISINFECTION OF VEHICLES
Vehicle wheel baths can be made in a number of ways. The most important factor is that the disinfectant should be deep enough to penetrate the treads of tyres, and sufficiently deep to wash over the walls of the tyres. In addition, it must be sufficiently long to allow the complete circumference of the tyre to come into contact with the disinfectant. Minimum recommendations are:
Depth 7 ½cm
An alternative may be a pad soaked in disinfectant. Details of approved designs may be obtained from the Jockey Club or RCA.
To be effective the disinfectant must be clean and maintained at the correct concentration. This will require regular replenishment if the bath or pad is used by a large number of vehicles.
Many MAFF approved disinfectants can be irritant, particularly in their concentrated forms, and those handling the disinfectants must follow all of the manufactures recommendations and where appropriate protective clothing.
SECTION EIGHT: ANNEX B
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE
I confirm that I have today cleaned and disinfected all relevant vehicle(s), and horse(s) in accordance with the Foot and Mouth Disease Instructions and Guidelines for the Racing Industry as issued by the Jockey Club and British Horseracing Board in March 2001.
*Delete as applicable
NOTE FOR HORSE BOX DRIVERS
PLEASE HAND THIS COMPLETED FORM TO THE JOCKEY CLUB OFFICIAL ON DUTY AT THE HORSEBOX PARK CHECKPOINT.
NOTE FOR TRAINERS
Should trainers be sharing the same horsebox, a relevant Certificate of Compliance must be completed by the applicable number of trainers.