A major study of US equine health issues, set to begin next month, will be the third national investigation of the subject conducted by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System.
The agency conducted similar investigations in 1998 and 2005.
This year’s study, called Equine 2015, is designed to provide participants, the horse industry, and animal-health officials with information on the American equine population that will serve as a basis for education, service, and research related to equine health and management.
It will also provide the horse industry with new and valuable information regarding trends, when compared with results from 1998 and 2005.
Starting in 2013, the agency asked horses owners, industry stakeholders, and government officials to provide input and define the health information needs of industry for the study.
Seven key study objectives were identified:
- Trends in equine care and health management for study years 1998, 2005, and 2015.
- The occurrence of owner-reported lameness and practices associated with the management of lameness.
- Health and management practices associated with important equine infectious diseases.
- Animal health related costs of equine ownership.
- Control practices for gastrointestinal parasites.
- The presence of ticks and tick-control practices used on equine operations.
- The collection of equine sera along with equine demographic information in order to create a serum bank for future studies.
Individuals conducting the survey will visit randomly selected equine operations in 28 states. The representatives will conduct personal interviews and collect other information from participating operations.
The American Horse Council is encouraging anyone contacted by the survey organisers to participate.
More information here.