Exotic diseases are infectious diseases that are not usually seen in the UK population. This may be because they have never been present in the area, for example if the climate does not support the specific species of biting insect that normally spreads the disease, or because disease control measures have been introduced to eradicate and then prevent reintroduction of the disease. Exotic diseases are notifiable by law in the UK and any suspicions of the presence of a notifiable disease must be immediately reported to the Animal and plant Health Agency (APHA).
With the global movement of horses and changing climate there is an increasing threat of introduction of exotic diseases into the UK. Currently those considered to be the greatest risk to the UK horse population include; West Nile Fever, African Horse Sickness, Equine Infectious Anaemia, Equine Viral Arteritis and Contagious Equine Metritis. Further information on exotic diseases can be found in the links below.