Owners, vets and equine professionals alike will soon have access to the most up-to-date information on strangles diagnoses across the UK at the click of a button, thanks to the Animal Health Trust’s brand-new online resource.
From the Surveillance of Equine Strangles project, which was launched in April 2019, the new website will make sharing information about the disease easier than ever, and will help keep horses safe from one of the most commonly diagnosed infectious diseases worldwide.
The new tool includes a mapping function, which highlights regions with confirmed cases, and allows users to change data ranges and time periods to help them access the most useful and relevant information. The data available is based on the geography of practices making diagnoses, the demographics of horses confirmed to have the disease, how diagnoses are made and the types of samples that are submitted for testing.
Dr Richard Newton, Director of Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology at the Animal Health Trust, said “This new website provides comprehensive insights about the disease in a very up-to-date manner in a way that has never been available before.
“However, the resource is only as useful as the data supplied from vets on the ground. I would urge colleagues to help us to keep this resource as up-to-date and comprehensive as possible by completing full details on submission forms being sent to any laboratory, so this information can contribute – anonymously – to the national picture of strangles.”
The Surveillance and Equine Strangles scheme was performed in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College and the universities of Liverpool and Melbourne, thanks to funding from The Horse Trust. It resulted in a year of research and development that led to this new platform for monitoring strangles across the UK.
Jeanette Allen, CEO of The Horse Trust, said “The Horse Trust is delighted to have been, and continue to be, a funder of this very important work at the Animal Health Trust. Strangles is a disease which is very worrying to horse owners, who, with accurate information about where outbreaks are and proper information about what they can do to help reduce the spread of strangles and other diseases, we hope to be able to significantly improve horse wellbeing.”
For more information, visit aht.org.uk