The German Equestrian Association (FN) is lifting the herpes vaccination requirement for competition horses from April 15th. As the association announced on Tuesday, 76 percent of the advisory board members voted against compulsory vaccination. Vaccination against the herpes virus (EHV-1) is still recommended. Since 2023, all horses taking part in a tournament had to be vaccinated against EHV-1.

In 2021 there was a massive outbreak of the neurological form of EHV-1 at a tournament series in Valencia. The world association FEI counted 18 dead horses as a result of the disease, and the FN then decided to make herpes vaccination compulsory.

“When we introduced compulsory vaccination, we assumed that the World Equestrian Federation and other nations would follow suit. But that is not the case. The World Equestrian Federation also continues to waive compulsory vaccination,” explained FN General Secretary Soenke Lauterbach. In addition, the state associations would sense ongoing resistance among their members against compulsory vaccination.