Yard managers are being urged to display a new checklist highlighting how horse owners can prevent disease in the wake of recent outbreaks.

The idea was mooted over a year ago. But Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare says that, with strangles on the rise and two recent cases of EIAM (swamp fever) as well as the equine herpes outbreak now is the ideal time for owners to swot up.

“There is a significant lack of basic biosecurity out there. The recent cases of equine herpes are another regrettable but critical reminder about the growing threat all our horses face from disease,” Roly told H&H.

“We cannot guarantee to keep them disease-free, but there is so much we can do to minimise the risk. The equine health checklist provides a simple way to make basic biosecurity an integral part of every horse owners’ daily routine.”

The Checklist for Equine Health was launched at the National Equine Forum on 5 March and is free to download from the British Equine Veterinary Association website (www.beva.org.uk).

It has been developed by vets, welfare charities and Defra and aims to help owners understand more clearly the importance of vaccination. It suggests ways to guard against disease in transporting equines and taking in new arrivals.

The A3-size checklist is designed to be hung on a wall and read at a distance, with large type and easy-to-follow headings and suggested actions.

“So many owners think that biosecurity is complicated and expensive,” said former BEVA president Ben Mayes. “But even the most simple actions can make all of the difference between health and illness.”

Download the poster

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (28 March 2013)