Posted: 5th March 2020 | Back to news feed

Speaking out about Strangles is the focus of a new national week of action launched at the National Equine Forum by some of the UK’s largest equine welfare organisations. For the first time, the Animal Health Trust, the British Horse Society, Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Scotland’s Rural College and World Horse Welfare have brought together their experiences and expertise to create Strangles Awareness Week.

The aim of the Week, which will run from 4th to 10th May, is to provide an opportunity for horse owners, livery yard managers, vets and professionals, including farriers and equine dentists, to share their stories of Strangles to tackle stigma and prompt more to take proactive action to protect their horses from infectious disease.

According to the Animal Health Trust, an average 600 outbreaks of Strangles take place every year, making it the most prolific equine infectious disease in the UK. It not only causes misery for the affected animals, but can be financially and emotionally devastating for horse owners and equestrian businesses. Sadly, the stigma around Strangles can prevent those affected from being open about an outbreak which is an essential part of preventing the spread of disease.

Details of how everyone can get involved with Strangles Awareness Week will be shared soon!

Since November 2018, Redwings has been urging horse owners and yard managers to sign-up to its Stamp Out Strangles Pledge; a voluntary commitment to take proactive steps towards protecting their horses from infectious disease, which over 1,075 people have now taken.

To coincide with the announcement of Strangles Awareness Week, a new Pledge has also been launched for vets and professionals, asking them to commit to checking their own biosecurity practices and making good hygiene and Strangles prevention normal topics of conversation with their clients and to signpost them to further helpful advice and guidance.

Those who pledge will receive regular support through emails on the latest research into Strangles to help them stay one step ahead of the disease, for themselves and their clients.

Andie Vilela, Redwings’ Campaigns Manager, said: “Strangles Awareness Week is a really exciting new opportunity for those who are worried about infectious disease to learn from the extensive experience of all these incredibly knowledgeable organisations, but also to share their own stories. We want to change the perception of Strangles, from a disease that is something to be afraid of, to something that is manageable with open communication and support.

“We know many horse owners look towards professionals, particularly vets, for guidance when it comes to strangles, so the added launch of a new Pledge for vets and professionals is our way of providing them with the tools they need to give that vital support to their clients.”

To find out more and to take the Pledge,

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