Thursday 18th December 2014

Levy Board Publishes Codes of Practice for 2015

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has published the 37th edition of the Codes of Practice on equine disease, in preparation for the 2015 equine breeding season.

The 2015 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 (EIA)
• 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:

“The 2015 Codes of Practice have required no major revisions, however, the DEFRA sponsored agency - formerly the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), has changed its name to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), which has been updated throughout the booklet.

Compliance with the Codes by both thoroughbred and non-thoroughbred breeders can help to protect the health and wellbeing of the equine population by preventing and/or controlling the spread of contagious diseases. The Codes set out best practice methods for each disease which, forming part of normal management routines, can ultimately help to avoid disruption of equestrian activities both locally and nationally, benefiting the equine community as a whole.”

Further details on recent and current research on equine infectious diseases are available at

For further information please contact Annie Dodd, HBLB Grants Manager, by email at or by direct telephone on 020 3603 2342.