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Horse Welfare
New survey to benchmark healthcare issues in horses

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The results of the UK's first National Equine Health Survey were announced at the annual National Equine Forum, held at the Royal Society in London on March 8. Also discussed was work by Defra to develop its testing programme for exotic disease in horses in light of the upcoming Olympic Games. Gill Harris reports

ANNOUNCING the results of the National Equine Health Survey (NEHS), Josh Slater of the Royal Veterinary College explained that the survey aimed to provide a benchmark for current, non-notifiable healthcare issues affecting horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the UK, such as coughs, skin diseases and lameness. The survey had been one of the British Equine Veterinary Association's (BEVA's) responsibilities as one of the ‘champions’ of an aim expressed in the Equine Health and Welfare Strategy, namely, to ‘review health and surveillance arrangements’. The survey was developed by the Blue Cross, supported by BEVA.

Quarterly disease surveillance reports produced by the Animal Health Trust, Defra and BEVA already provided valuable information about infectious endemic diseases, he said, but there had been no mechanism for surveillance of non-infectious equine diseases in the UK. In fact, a comprehensive programme for collecting prevalence data …

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