Just five minutes will give horses a healthier future

EQUINE HEALTH

Leading charity Blue Cross is calling on owners to help safeguard the future health and welfare of our horses and ponies.

In partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association, the charity is set to launch The National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) for 2015.

The survey, which can be completed online between 18-24 May, is a unique opportunity for horse owners to give feedback about the health of their horses, ponies and donkeys so that the most common diseases and problems can be identified, prioritised and addressed.

Supported by the UK’s leading equestrian organisations and charities and sponsored by SPILLERS and Zoetis, NEHS has now been running for five years and is already helping our knowledge of horse heath.

Horse and vet

 NEHS has become a crucial information resource for the equestrian industry

Participation increased threefold last year, with data collected from over 12,301 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the UK, demonstrating the equestrian nation’s enthusiasm to do their bit. The results help to establish benchmarks for equine health and disease in the UK and define priorities for future research, training and education. Equine and veterinary colleges and universities also use the data as primary source material.

‘It is helping us to steer awareness, education and research with the sole purpose of safeguarding the future healthcare of our horses’

Last year more about the rise of Atypical Myopathy in the UK was discovered. Further awareness of this highly fatal disease is now being raised, incidences are being recorded and monitored by UK vets, and further research is continuing. For the second year lameness was identified as the most common syndrome and there was an apparent increase in laminitis compared with previous years. The 2014 survey also highlighted that 20% of owners are unaware of the risk of encysted small redworm and showed that the reported number of overweight horses and ponies had more than doubled since the previous year.

Gemma Taylor, Education Officer at Blue Cross, said: “Over the past five years NEHS has become a crucial information resource for the equestrian industry. It is helping us to steer awareness, education and research with the sole purpose of safeguarding the future healthcare of our horses. By giving five minutes of your time to complete the survey you can help to make a lifetime of difference.”

Visit www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS or email NEHS@bluecross.org.uk to register for NEHS.

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