FMD Outbreak Restricts European Horse Travel

British officials confirmed another outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease on a cattle farm in England; horses can no longer travel freely among Britain, France, and Ireland.

The U.K.'s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced Aug. 7 that Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) has been confirmed on another cattle farm near Surrey, England.

Horses cannot be infected by FMD but can carry the virus on their hooves, skin, hair, and possibly in their nasal passages.

As a health precaution, an international agreement on livestock transportation has been suspended.  Horses can no longer travel freely among Britain, France, and Ireland. Additional health papers from DEFRA will be required for horses traveling abroad from Britain.

Horses going to Britain from the restricted countries will need a declaration from a private veterinarian, stating that they have not been in contact with horses suffering from infectious or contagious disease in the previous 15 days. They will be allowed to return to France or Ireland within 15 days of their arrival in Britain if they have a certificate from an official veterinarian.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced Aug. 7 it will not accept race entries for horses trained within an official FMD Surveillance Zone. Maps designating the most recent Surveillance and Protection Zones can be viewed at

The BHA advised trainers with specific questions on the overseas movement of horses to contact the National Trainers Federation.--By Erin Ryder