For those involved in equestrian pursuits, horse health should always be one of the biggest priorities and top concerns.
The National Equine Health Survey helps equine specialists and horse owners discover new diseases in these beautiful animals and then take appropriate actions to minimise risks and find treatments and cures.
Horse owners are being urged to register for the 2015 National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) to make sure that equine health remains a priority issue and receives the attention it deserves.
Why should you take part?
The number of participants taking part in the survey doubled last year, which meant that data concerning more than 12,301 UK horses, ponies, donkeys and mules were collected and collated.
While this is a great figure, it is important that even more people sign up this year. The more horse owners which allow data to be collected about their animals the more we can learn about these creatures and the more health concerns we can identify and address.
This year’s Equine Health Survey opens at 9am on 18th May and closes a week later at 9am on 25th May. Owners that have already registered will be sent a reminder email just before the survey starts but there’s still time to register and sign-up.
Gemma Taylor, education officer at charity Blue Cross which runs the survey, said:
“We want to increase the numbers to get an accurate picture of horse health in the UK.”
The Blue Cross charity runs the annual survey in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association to ensure the best treatment and care of horses.
Why are the results important?
Owners are asked to give feedback about the health of their horses in the designated week of the survey so that common diseases can be identified and suitable actions can be taken with specific programmes developed.
Last year the data collected enabled vets to learn more about the rise of a fatal disease called myopathy in the UK, this allowed vital research to be carried out to help horses and owners.
The most common syndrome identified in the 2014 survey was lameness; taking the top position for the second year running.
There was also an increase in laminitis compared with previous years while the number of horses found to be overweight doubled from 2013.
Taylor explained the importance of this information by saying:
“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.”
How can I take part?
Signing up for the 2015 National Equine Health Survey is easy whether you’ve registered before or not.
All you need to do is visit the website at www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS or email [email protected] and join up.
You will be reminded of the week when the survey begins then you simply provide the data asked of you during that time.