Equine Influenza: Advice for Horse Owners and Vets

In the autumn of 2022, there was an increase in the number of horses in GB diagnosed with Equine Influenza (EI).

These reports can be found at Equiflunet Viewer (equinesurveillance.org)

DAERA encourages horse owners and vets to be vigilant in looking for the symptoms of EI, and in diagnosing and reporting disease.

Symptoms of Equine Influenza

these include-

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Inappetence
  • Lethargy/poor performance
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

More information for horse owners can be found at pages_owners_202111.pdf (equinesurveillance.org)


How to Test for Equine Influenza

Both Rossdales Laboratories in Newmarket (funded by the HBLB Scheme), and the Irish Equine Centre in Kildare (funded by DAFM), provide free PCR testing for EI of nasopharyngeal swabs from horses in Northern Ireland.

A prompt diagnosis helps to ensure affected horses are treated correctly, and to ensure successful implementation of control measures, limiting the spread of EI and its impacts on the industry and welfare of horses.

Veterinary epidemiologists at Equine Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS), based at Cambridge University, will be able to assist equine vets with relevant outbreak advice free of charge.

Vets can enroll in the HBLB UK Equine Influenza Surveillance Scheme at https://equinesurveillance.org/fluenrol/

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