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Horse Owners Head Start on Disease Protection

Published Wednesday, 4th June 2014 in SAC Consulting news

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Everyone from private horse owners to those managing commercial yards received key advice on avoiding a disease threat during the recent Welfare Conference in Bristol.

‘Biosecurity – Protecting Horses and Businesses’, organised by The British Horse Society and SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, brought together a number of internationally renowned experts. Nicolas de Brauwere, Chairman of the National Equine Welfare Council, began by highlighting the biosecurity challenges of introducing new horses and changing populations and advising on the implementation of effective quarantine procedures.

Veterinary Investigation Officer Alistair Cox of SAC Consulting Veterinary Services spoke about the Premium Assured Strangles Scheme (PASS). He explained the scheme had been launched by SAC Consulting to protect member yards against the uncontrolled spread of the disease through a practical programme of testing and biosecurity procedures. His talk generated interest and questions from the delegates who were given information on how to join.

“The Premium Assured Strangles Scheme allows yards to visibly demonstrate their commitment to the control of Strangles, enhancing their status in the equine community, and leading the way in the ultimate goal of eradicating this terrible disease,” he said.

Dr Andrew Waller, Head of Bacteriology, and Dr Richard Newton, Head of Epidemiology and Disease, at the Animal Health Trust, used case studies of equine herpes virus and Strangles outbreaks to demonstrate what can be learnt about effective disease control. They also explored the role that testing and vaccination plays in biosecurity and warned against complacency.

Remembering that it is not only well-known diseases that are a threat Dr John Keen, Director of Equine Clinical Services at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, considered the emerging threat from exotic diseases and the practical steps that can be taken to minimise risk.

During more practical sessions Alistair Cox used glitter stuck to a model horse to demonstrate how easily disease can spread. Nicolas de Brauwere offered a rare opportunity for delegates to ‘have a go’ at using an endoscope. Delegates also had the opportunity to risk assess their yard and think about how to create a suitable biosecurity plan in a workshop with Mark Tabachnik from Wright and Morten Veterinary Surgeons.

Read more on the British Horse Society website. You can also visit our Premium Assured Strangles Scheme homepage.

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