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International Sports Horse Confederation announces significant progress

The International Horse Sports Confederation Welcomes Significant Progress on Key Projects

The International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) held a series of meetings at the Hong Kong Jockey Club on Saturday, 9 December 2017. The IHSC has endorsed developments in several key projects which highlight the significant progress being made on the important work of the IHSC, including as a result of its collaborative activities with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Re-election of Mr Louis Romanet as IHSC President

At the annual meeting of the General Assembly, the current President of the IHSC, Mr Louis Romanet (who is also Chairman of the IFHA), was elected for a further term of two years.

Successful staging of regional workshops during 2017

The IHSC received a comprehensive update on the successful staging of three OIE-IHSC regional workshops held in Johannesburg, Guatemala and Montevideo during 2017. A key driver for the workshops is to facilitate advancements in the temporary international movement of competition horses.

The workshops brought together a broad range of private and government sport horse industry stakeholders, including representatives of national equestrian federations, national racing authorities, national veterinary authorities and customs organisations in the South African, Central American and South American regions. Priority issues and collectively-defined actions have been agreed for each region which are being actively progressed, and which the OIE-IHSC Technical Committee will continue to monitor and support. The IHSC has supported plans for further regional workshops during 2018.

Significant progress on important research projects

The IHSC’s Technical Meeting also received detailed reports on some critical, and advanced, research projects which are being jointly conducted by the OIE and IHSC. Since 2015, significant progress has been made on six scientific studies on African horse sickness, equine influenza and glanders.

Arising from that work, the IHSC has now given its in-principle agreement to support the development of a new African horse sickness DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) vaccine. It is anticipated that development of a polyvalent vaccine and immunity studies may be completed for a new vaccine within approximately 18 months. The IHSC believes that the development and production of an African horse sickness vaccine would be a major achievement, and would deliver a far-reaching positive impact on horse sports around the world.

The IHSC also noted pleasing progress in relation to:

· the development of equine influenza vaccination protocols, which are anticipated to be included in the OIE Terrestrial Manual by 2019; and

· research work into the development of a serological diagnostic assay for glanders, with critical milestones expected to be reached by mid-2018.

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