Foot and Mouthinstructions and Guidelines For the Racing Industry
Published: 2 March 2001
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction and Raceday Disinfection Procedures Summary.
2. Background Information and General Advice.
3. Responsibilities of Racecourse Managing Executives.
4. Responsibilities of Trainers (Licensed, Permitted and those having care of Hunter Chasers).
5. Responsibilities of Jockeys, Jockeys’ Valets and BHB/Jockey Club Officials.
6. Responsibilities of Racehorse Transporters and Technical Services Providers.
7. Guidance for the Race-going Public (including local contractors and bookmakers).
a) Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures.
b) Trainers’ Certificate of Compliance.
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.
The document (Sections 6 and 7) also includes guidance notes to non-licensed individuals (e.g. members of the race-going public).
1.2 RACEDAY DISINFECTION PROCEDURES SUMMARY
The pictorial summary overleaf reflects the more detailed Instructions included in sections three to five as well as the guidance to non-licensed personnel and the race-going public specified in sections six and seven.
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.
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 hot washed;
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 c