Strangles symposium success

Published Thursday, 11th April 2019 in Veterinary Services news

Strangles is prevalent in equines around the UK
Strangles is prevalent in equines around the UK

Eradicating strangles – the UK’s most prevalent infectious equine disease – could become a reality if more people were inspired to take action.

This was the message of an industry symposium which brought together leaders from across the equine community, with support from SRUC’s Premium Assured Strangles Scheme, to discuss the better prevention and management of the disease.

Sponsored by Redwings Horse Sanctuary and The British Horse Society (BHS), with collaboration from SRUC, The University of Edinburgh, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and World Horse Welfare, ‘Together We Can Stamp Out Strangles’ was attended by vets, farriers, yard managers, equestrian governing bodies and welfare charities.

Taking place at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, it was a chance for attendees to share their latest research, including updates from the AHT’s promising vaccine developments, the strangles surveillance scheme and the value of the Premium Assured Strangles Scheme for certification of yards.

A panel chaired by Sheila Voas, Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland, led to a lively debate on what more the sector could do to work together to influence good biosecurity. Key questions posed included the larger role vets could play in encouraging better practices amongst clients, whether strangles should be made ‘Reportable’, and how to ensure the heightened awareness of infectious disease following the recent national equine flu outbreak does not diminish.

Andie Vilela, Redwings’ Education and Campaigns Manager, said: “There has never been more information, advice and help available for horse owners to effectively prevent and tackle strangles, and yet it remains the UK’s most prevalent infectious disease with over 600 outbreaks every year.

“There is no reason why stamping out strangles in this country cannot become a reality with a commitment to good practices and actions, such as identifying and treating strangles carriers. This symposium provided the chance for representatives from the across the equine sector not only to evaluate their own practices, but figure out how we can work together to inspire and support others to do more.” 

A full report of the discussions and outcomes from the symposium will be published in due course.

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