Guidance on isolation
The Codes of Practice often refer to the isolation of horses. In the biosecurity sense, ‘isolation’ means a separate facility with separate staff, separate protective clothing, separate utensils/equipment and thorough steam cleaning and disinfection of stables between each occupant. Ideally, isolation areas should be able to operate as separate premises from their main operations, including having their own dedicated accesses.
1. The isolation facility should be a separate, enclosed building of sound, permanent construction, capable of being cleansed and disinfected effectively.
2. It must not be possible for other horses to approach within 100 metres of the isolation facility while it is in use.
3. An adequate supply of fresh, clean water must be available at all times for the isolated horses and for cleaning purposes.
4. Adequate supplies of food and bedding material for the whole of the isolation period must be made available and stored within the isolation facility before isolation commences.
5. Equipment and utensils used for feeding, grooming and cleansing must be used only in the isolation facility.
6. Protective clothing must be available at the entrance to the isolation facility and not be taken outside of this facility.
7. A separate muck heap should be used within the isolation facility.
1. Before use, all fixed and moveable equipment and utensils for feeding, grooming and cleansing within the isolation facility must be disinfected using an approved disinfectant. A list of these is provided on the Defra website (select only ‘General’ for suitable products)..
2. Attendants of the isolated horses must have no contact with any other horses during the isolation period.
3. The isolation period for all isolated horses shall be deemed to start from the time of entry of the last horse.
4. No person may enter the isolation facility unless specifically authorised to do so.
5. When no attendants are on duty, the facility must be locked securely to prevent the entry of unauthorised persons. If such strict measures are not possible in practice, the owner/manager of the premises where isolation is needed should devise their own isolation programme and procedures in conjunction with the attending veterinary surgeon and if appropriate with additional input from a recognised expert in equine infectious disease control. These might include, for example: