The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association has developed an industry protocol for studs to follow during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown imposed by British government.
In a news story published on its website, the TBA said: “It is essential that the protocol is implemented by thoroughbred breeders during this time, and that it is recorded that staff employed on studs have read and understood it.
“Stallion studs should send out the Covid-19 proforma to breeders when the covering is booked. The advice given to us has been very clear that if, at this time, you cannot follow all of this protocol, you should not be moving and transporting thoroughbreds for breeding.
“The advice issued is based on the latest government guidance, and will be updated if this changes. If you have any questions about this guidance please email email@example.com.”
The protocols are as follows:
- Only staff who are essential to the care of horses, and who absolutely cannot work from home, should continue to travel to work during the period of these restrictions.
- The standard of care should be focused primarily on upholding the welfare of the horses in their care. Any non-essential activity beyond this must be carefully considered and, where possible, avoided.
- Studs must close to any visitors, other than those that are essential for the welfare of the horses in their care.
- Staff must follow all government advice relating to good hygiene and virus transmission, and carry out proscribed hand washing and sanitising procedures including any surfaces/handles/equipment.
- Hygiene is vitally important when handling new equine arrivals. Staff will use hand wipes, gels, disinfectants to clean any related equipment both before and after handling.
- Staff must follow all government advice on social distancing at all times. Staff must remain at least two metres apart and avoid gatherings of more than two people, apart from members of their own household. Gatherings of more than two should be avoided except where absolutely essential for horse welfare. In these instances numbers should be limited and social distancing must still apply.
- Contact between staff of studs and any essential suppliers must also comply with the government advice on social distancing, with no more than two people present unless they are of the same household.
- Veterinary advice by phone and email should be sought on ensuring effective sanitisation and isolation.
- Local procedures must be recorded and displayed as appropriate and there must be records that staff have been fully trained.
- Any appointments must be made in advance of travel (also see item 8.).
- Associated paperwork must be completed and sent electronically in advance, including passport information and completion of the Covid-19 transport form.
- The vehicle used for transport must be disinfected before and after every visit including any handles, the ramp or other areas where stud staff may have had, or will have, contact.
- Staff travelling in the horsebox must comply with government advice on social distancing (as outlined in item 6 above).
- Unless there is an emergency or human or animal welfare requirement related to the animal being transported or the driver, it is prohibited to stop on the journey.
- At the destination, the unloading and re-loading of the horse must be conducted by the staff at the destination with no contact with the travelling staff. Hygiene precautions must be followed at every stage of this loading process, using robust disinfection processes of the horsebox handles and any equipment, and hand washing.
- Staff travelling in the horsebox should only exit the horsebox at the location they are visiting to use welfare facilities, using all sanitary precautions. There must be no direct contact with the staff on the site.
- All these movements between premises must be recorded online at: https://horsemovement.weatherbysgsb.co.uk.