The following advice has been drawn up by the National Trainers¡¦ Federation after consultation with the Jockey Club and the Animal Health Trust and incorporates advice from MAFF.
HORSES CANNOT BE INFECTED BY THE FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE VIRUS, and they can only be a hazard by spreading the virus on their feet or equipment.
It is important to distinguish between trainers and permit holders who do not have any susceptible species on their premises from those who have farm livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer).
1) Trainers / Permit holders with no other livestock on premises
Trainers / Permit holders should take all reasonable steps at all times to avoid land where susceptible animals graze.
If horses leave the premises other than to go to the gallops, their feet should be picked out, cleaned thoroughly with a stiff brush and water; their belly and legs should be washed; after cleaning, the hooves should be painted with a suitable, MAFF-approved disinfectant which is safe to come into contact with skin. This process should be repeated when the horses return.
2) Trainers / Permit holders with susceptible livestock on the premises
There are two particular additional risks:-
i) horses could bring the infection back onto the premises and infect resident livestock,
ii) horses could disseminate infection which exists on the trainer¡¦s premises.
The most important point is to ensure effective segregation between horses and susceptible livestock. In particular there should be no sharing of farmyard, buildings, equipment and of personnel.
As well as all the precautions noted in 1) above, great care needs to be taken with vehicles moving on and off the premises.
To address this, the following measures should be followed in accordance with advice from MAFF:
„h You should ensure you maintain the highest standards of hygiene for all movements on and off your farm.
„h Have only one combined entrance and exit. Display the name of the farm and the telephone number on the gate. Keep the gate locked.
„h Provide a means of contact between farm entrance and house for essential callers, e.g. a bell or a gong. Supply a tub of disinfectant, a brush for scrubbing footwear and a spray pump. Keep the disinfectant solution clean-renew it daily.
„h All vehicles entering and leaving the premises should have their wheels sprayed with approved disinfectant.
„h Stop all non-essential vehicles and visitors from entering the farm and arrange whenever possible for collection and delivery of supplies to take place at farm boundary.
„h Keep a record of all deliveries. In the event of disease being confirmed this may help in epidemiological investigations.
„h Where possible, house all the animals or keep them away from the perimeter of your farm.
„h Ensure you complete all records of stock movements as required by existing legislation.
If you have more than one farm, then:
„h Treat each as a completely separate unit. Make separate arrangements for labour, management and feeding.
„h Keep dogs, cats and poultry under control.
„h Make every effort to destroy rats and other vermin. They may spread disease.
„h Keep your stock away from household waste, bones or swill.
„h Limit contact with other peoples’ livestock and with other keepers of livestock. 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.
Disinfection and approved disinfectants
A dirty surface must be cleaned before it can be satisfactorily disinfected. The dirt may make the disinfectant 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 or your Veterinary Surgeon.