New HBLB App helps keep horses safe from infection

Horse trainers, owners and breeders now have reliable advice on equine disease control at their fingertips thanks to a new, free App launched by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB). EquiBioSafe covers all the key elements of contagious disease prevention and control based on the important Codes of Practice for breeders and trainers. It was launched at last week’s Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Seminar at Haydock Racecourse.

Outbreaks of contagious disease can have devastating consequences. They can compromise horse welfare, disrupt breeding activity, cause economic loss and can be very costly to deal with. Uncontrolled infection in just one horse or pony can transmit easily to others, potentially escalating to local and national outbreaks. Countering threats from disease requires constant vigilance at all levels. Racehorses and competition horses can be especially vulnerable because of their frequent travelling. Mixing with other horses whether at home, within training centres or at the racetrack or competition venues can make the rapid spread of infectious agents very possible.

Early diagnosis and prompt implementation of biosecurity measures are essential to reduce risk of spread of infectious disease. The EquiBioSafe App has been designed by vets with support from HBLB, to ensure you have reliable advice on equine disease control always available wherever you are.

EquiBioSafe is a portable, user-friendly and interactive synopsis of both the HBLB Disease Control Codes of Practice for Breeders and the National Trainers Federation (NTF) Codes of Practice for racehorse trainers. The essential disease information and advice is highly accessible and is relevant to the owners and keepers of any kind of horse or pony.

The comprehensive biosecurity section covers all the important contagious diseases. It explains how to minimise contagious disease risk with practical advice on management of horses, staff, visitors and the environment and checklists for dealing with sick horses.

Clinical conditions and techniques are illustrated with video and stills. Interactive elements of the EquBioSafe will help you comply with sporting authority vaccine regulation and legal obligations for disease reporting. It allows you to calculate CEM disease risk for individual broodmares and stallions and will also help you find your nearest Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office.

Automatic updates ensure that users always have the latest version, with additional advantage that emergency updates can be issued very quickly in the face of any new disease threats.

Celia Marr, Chair of the HBLB Veterinary Advisory Committee, said: “Since the Codes of Practice were introduced in 1979 infectious disease outbreaks have reduced significantly. EquiBioSafe will make it even easier for everyone involved with horses to prevent infectious disease and help keep our horses safe. The App is already being very well received and, in addition to our main target area of Europe, we’ve already seen downloads from North American, Asia and Latin America.”

Trainer Jim Boyle continued: “The EquiBioSafe app is a really handy resource for racehorse trainers. It brings together the NTF codes with other information on equine infectious disease straight to your phone. It will help trainers comply with vaccine and disease reporting regulations and the ability to instantly update the app information if new disease challenges hit the UK is an unique advantage.”

The free EquiBioSafe App is available now for iPhones and iPads from iTunes at http://apple.co/29DGtyQ. An android version will be available shortly. Alternatively, the full Codes of Practice will continue to be available online in PDF, print ready format, should users wish to produce a printed version. Further details on recent and current research on equine infectious diseases are available at racehorsehealth.hblb.org.uk.

The launch of the App is supported by a free online eBEVA seminar by Dr Richard Newton on biosecurity for equine premises http://bit.ly/2a2QHuZ, together with a biosecurity guidelines checklist poster for yard tackrooms.  For further information contact Annie Dodd, HBLB Grants Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 020 7504 4014.