HORSES which have not been properly vaccinated against equine flu will not be allowed to attend this year’s Pembrokeshire County Show.

A similar move was made at the recent Royal Welsh Show, and organisers of the county show have even considered a ban of all equine entrants.

Equine influenza is highly contagious, with more than 20 cases in Wales alone this year; transmission is by inhalation of respiratory secretions and can travel between yards within 10km of an outbreak.

Incubation periods for the disease can range from one to five days with the clinical signs of nasal discharge and coughing being evident. A vaccine for the common strains of equine influenza is available.

Pembrokeshire County Show is due to take place at the showground, Withybush, on August 13-15.

In a statement posted on social media, Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society Ltd said: “As a result of ongoing developments regarding the spread of Equine Flu, the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society Ltd has had to review its policy. Consideration has been given to cancelling all equine activity, however, following professional advice, the society, with regret, has had to implement a mandatory vaccination regime for all equines wishing to attend the 2019 County Show.

“It is acknowledged by the society that this will be disappointing news for some exhibitors. However, consideration of animal welfare must be the priority and this has dictated the necessary change in policy.

“The society will continue to work with the chief veterinary officer (Wales) and its veterinary professionals to ensure best practice is implemented to minimise the spread of the disease.

“Checks will be made to confirm compliance with the mandatory vaccination requirement.

“Owners of all equines must provide proof of an up-to-date influenza vaccination record in order for their equines to be exhibited at the Pembrokeshire County Show.”

All equines must have received both the first and second doses of the vaccine (primary course) prior to the show.

The statement added: “This notice is being issued at this time in an attempt to provide ample time and opportunity for those equines currently not vaccinated to be injected prior to this year’s county show on August 13, 14, and 15. The society’s veterinary professionals have given assurance that they will provide increased resources in order for vaccinations to be carried out within the given timescale.

“We urge you to contact your personal veterinary practice.”