Horse industry organizations call for national program to track equine diseases

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Horses in field
“The horse community is always just one step from a calamity and that calamity is a disease outbreak of such proportion as to widely imperil the health of our horses and threaten the economic viability of our industry.”

So begins an open letter to the horse industry from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the American Horse Council (AHC). In response to disease outbreaks in the horse population, particularly the Equine Herpesvirus outbreaks that have occurred in several states already this year, the two organizations have proposed a national system to help protect the equine population.

The letter explains that every disease outbreak costs the horse industry millions of dollars for biosecurity measures and lost revenues from canceled or restricted equine events. When outbreaks happen, the industry does respond, but the letter suggests that having a system in place beforehand would reduce the negative impact of disease outbreaks.

“It is time for the broader industry to be proactive in dealing with disease outbreaks with increased biosecurity, education, and a plan to immediately stop the spread of diseases. One of the best ways to contain any disease outbreak is to provide accurate and timely information about the current status of the problem and how to break the cycle of disease transmission.”

The National Equine Health Plan proposed by the AAEP and AHC would create an Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) to serve as a central point for timely, accurate communication about outbreaks and other equine disease-related issues. A network of veterinarians and animal health officials would help reliable information reach all segments of the horse industry.

The EDCC will be one of the main topic for the AHC National Issues Forum in June.

To read the full letter and provide your input, visit AAEP.org.

8 COMMENTS

  1. if you think your horse is sick keep it home and call the vet don’t put other horses at risk it would be nice to have a website or some sort of notification that an outbreak is in an area that you may be taking your horse to so that you can make the decision to risk it or not

  2. Until then, try Outbreak-alert.com
    You can find out whats in your area or whats going on where you may be traveling to.

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