New regulations on transport of animals have come into force in Scotland making it compulsory to disinfect a vehicle used to transport both horses and other livestock after each journey.

Privately owned horses are exempt from the new regulations. British Horse Society (BHS) Development Officer for Scotland Helene Mauchlen says, “Cleansing and disinfection is only necessary where hoofed animals (other than horses) or foul or poultry have been using the same trailer or lorry as horses or ponies.”

Although the regulations will affect a minority of horse owners, the BHS is keen to underline the importance of hygiene. “Good hygiene is a normal and necessary part of biosecurity,” Mauchlen maintains. “One third of all horses in Scotland live on farms and people need to take on board their responsibilities.”

According to Mauchlen diseases such as strangles are easily transported by infected horses and on clothing: “Regulation 4 states that the transport of horses may or may not transmit livestock diseases, so if you come from a farm it also makes sense to make sure your wheel rims and arches and the bottom of your trailer is clean when travelling away from home,” she says.

Anyone requiring further equine biosecurity advice should contact BHS Scotland Development Officer Helene Mauchlen on email: h.mauchlen@bhs.org.uk

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