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Horses: Disease Control

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential for cases of African horse sickness to arise in England. (197998)

African horse sickness is included in the Specified Diseases (Notification and Slaughter) Order 1992, to implement the slaughter requirements of EU Council Directive 92/35/EEC, which lays down control rules and measures to combat the disease. Imported horses from at-risk countries outside the EU are routinely tested for African horse sickness which minimizes any likelihood of the disease arising in the UK.

A “Strategy for the control of an outbreak of African horse sickness” is being produced by a working group under the chairmanship of the Horse Trust. DEFRA is one of the main contributors and promoters of this strategy. Working group members included representatives from the equine industry, academia, research organisations and DEFRA.