App puts equine biosecurity in hands of horse owners

A horse suffering from Strangles, a very contagious disease.
A horse suffering from Strangles, a very contagious disease.

An application developed for the horse racing industry has been released to help all horse and pony owners keep ahead of equine biosecurity.

EquiBioSafe has been designed by veterinarians with support from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB), and outlines all the key elements of contagious disease prevention and control.

The app is based on racing’s HBLB Disease Control Codes of Practice for Breeders and the National Trainers Federation (NTF) Codes of Practice for racehorse trainers. The essential disease information and advice is highly accessible and is relevant to the owners and keepers of any type of horse or pony.

Celia Marr, Chair of the HBLB Veterinary Advisory Committee, said the app had already been well received in its target market of Europe, and there had already been downloads from North America, Asia, and Latin America.

“Since the Codes of Practice were introduced in 1979 infectious disease outbreaks have reduced significantly,” Marr said. “EquiBioSafe will make it even easier for everyone involved with horses to prevent infectious disease and help keep our horses safe.”

Trainer Jim Boyle said EquiBioSafe was a handy resource for racehorse trainers. “It will help trainers comply with vaccine and disease reporting regulations and the ability to instantly update the app information if new disease challenges hit the UK is an unique advantage.”

Outbreaks of contagious disease can have devastating consequences. They can compromise horse welfare, disrupt breeding activity, cause economic loss and can be costly to deal with. Uncontrolled infection in just one horse or pony can transmit easily to others, potentially escalating to local and national outbreaks.

Countering threats from disease requires constant vigilance at all levels. Racehorses and competition horses can be especially vulnerable because of their frequent travelling. Mixing with other horses whether at home, within training centres or at the racetrack or competition venues can make the rapid spread of infectious agents possible.

equibiosafeThe comprehensive biosecurity section covers all the important contagious diseases. It explains how to minimise contagious disease risk with practical advice on management of horses, staff, visitors and the environment and checklists for dealing with sick horses.

Clinical conditions and techniques are illustrated with video and stills. Interactive elements of the EquBioSafe will help users comply with sporting authority vaccine regulation and legal obligations for disease reporting.

The free EquiBioSafe App is available for iPhones and iPads from iTunes, and for Android on the Google Play Store.

The launch of the App is supported by an online eBEVA seminar by Dr Richard Newton on biosecurity for equine premises, below.

More information: Annie Dodd, HBLB Grants Manager, annie.dodd@hblb.org.uk, 020 7504 4014.

Codes of Practice

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