HBLB Online Codes of Practice 2012 


For immediate release, Tuesday 29th November 2011

HBLB Publishes Online 2012 Codes of Practice

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has today published online the 2012 Codes of Practice on equine diseases. The Codes, now in their 34th year, are much valued and widely used by horse breeders and their veterinary surgeons.

Updated annually, the Codes have contributed significantly to a decrease in the incidence of infectious disease outbreaks and are part of HBLB’s statutory objective to apply funds for the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science or veterinary education.

Applying to all breeds of horse and pony, and to both natural mating and AI, the Codes arean essential guide for the prevention and control of seven equine diseases:

  • Contagious equine metritis (CEM)
  • Equine viral arteritis (EVA)
  • Equine herpesvirus (EHV)
  • Equine coital exanthema (ECE)
  • Equine infectious anaemia (EIA)
  • Dourine
  • Guidelines on strangles


The Codes can be accessed at http://codes.hblb.org.uk/ and each code is available as a download here for users who want to print a copy, or to save it to view offline on a mobile phone or desktop.

For each disease there are sections which describe transmission and clinical signs, as well as advice on prevention, diagnosis and control of infection.  The Codes explain the notification requirements that apply for the four diseases that are notifiable by law: CEM, EVA, EIA and dourine.

New for 2012 is a code of practice on dourine, a serious and often chronic venereally transmitted disease of horses.  As there is no proven long term cure for dourine and no vaccine is available, establishing freedom from disease is the basis of prevention. 

Also new for 2012 is the availability of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to complement the PCR testing for CEMO that is already in use, with the advantage that the results may be available within 24 hours.  A list of laboratories approved by HBLB to offer these tests is available here.

Professor Willie Donachie, Chairman of HBLB’s Veterinary Advisory Committee said: ‘The launch of the online Codes last year proved a great success.  We have had a positive response from vets, studs and individual breeders and have responded to their feedback, including by producing an individual PDF for each code of practice that can be downloaded.   We are committed to ensuring that the essential recommendations in the Codes continue to be available freely, wherever and whenever they are needed.’

Notes for editors:

An expert Sub Committee of HBLB’s Veterinary Advisory Committee reviews the Codes of Practice annually. The Sub Committee includes representatives of Thoroughbred breeders in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy; the non-Thoroughbred sector; Defra; specialist equine veterinary practitioners; and scientists expert in infectious disease.

The Codes of Practice are published annually by HBLB in advance of the Thoroughbred breeding season each year.

For further information please contact Stephanie McIntosh, Equine Grants Manager at HBLB, at equine.grants@hblb.org.ukor on 0207 802 3885