Friday 2nd December 2016

Horserace Betting Levy Board Publishes Codes of Practice for 2017

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has published the 39th edition of the Codes of Practice on equine disease, in preparation for the 2017 equine breeding season. This will be available online only at  

No printed edition will be produced by HBLB, although the TBA will be issuing printed copies to its members.

The online version may be accessed as a full document or as separate sections.  It may be downloaded in pdf format for printing or viewing offline.

EquiBioSafe is a free app, available on iOS or Android, containing the HBLB Codes and the National Trainers Federation Code of Practice for Infectious Diseases of Racehorses in Training.  The app includes additional features and is updated automatically from time to time.  The 2017 update was released on 1 December.

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 fur 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
  • Equine veterinary practitioners
  • Scientists expert in infectious disease.

Rob van Pelt, Chairman of the Codes of Practice Sub Committee, said:
“The 2017 version includes a number of detailed changes to the Equine Herpes section. These were developed with the TBA to answer some issues that arose last breeding season and show that the Codes are dynamic, representing current best practice

“I am glad to see that the vital importance of effective biosecurity for our horses is being appreciated by everyone.  It matters to all equines whatever their breeding and use.  Infectious diseases have obvious health and welfare consequences, but there may also be significant cost implications.  Equestrian activities on both a local and national scale could have major disruption.

“It is in all our interests to work together and comply with the recommendations in the Codes.”

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 7504 4014.