Thursday 8th November 2012

Levy Board Publishes Codes of Practice for 2013

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has published the 35th edition of the Codes of Practice on equine disease, in preparation for the 2013 equine breeding season.

The 2013 Codes are available online at and can also be downloaded in PDF format for printing or viewing offline.

Applying to all breeds of horse and pony, and to both natural mating and AI, the Codes are an essential guide for the prevention and control of equine diseases which represent a potential major threat to equine breeding:

• Contagious equine metritis (CEM)
• Equine viral arteritis (EVA)
• Equine herpesvirus (EHV)
• Equine coital exanthema (ECE)
• Equine infectious anaemia (EIA)
• Dourine
• Guidelines on strangles
• Guidelines on artificial insemination (AI)

For each disease there are sections which describe transmission and clinical signs, as well as advice on prevention, diagnosis and control of infection. The Codes explain the notification requirements that apply for the four diseases that are notifiable by law: CEM, EVA, EIA and dourine.

The Codes of Practice are reviewed annually by an expert Sub Committee of HBLB’s Veterinary Advisory Committee. The Sub Committee includes representatives of:

• Thoroughbred breeders in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy
• The non-thoroughbred sector
• Defra
• Specialist equine veterinary practitioners
• Scientists expert in infectious disease.

Chris Rea, Chairman of the Codes of Practice Sub Committee said: “With a diversity of contributors to the annual review of the Codes, it means that we can tailor the information to give it real relevance across a range of user groups. As a result of feedback, we have added significantly to the information for breeders using AI and for 2013 there is now a separate section for AI guidelines. All equine breeders benefit from following the Codes, whether breeding privately or commercially. By working together and complying with the recommendations in the Codes, breeders can protect the health of both their own animals and the equine community as a whole.”

Further detail on recent and current research on equine infectious disease is available on a new online resource at