Members of the Metropolitan Police mounted branch submitted to having their eyes, teeth and hooves checked to promote this year’s National Equine Health Survey (NEHS).

The equine recruits’ vital statistics were also recorded, by volunteers on stepladders, as part of the 2017 NEHS, which is run by animal charity the Blue Cross with the British Equine Veterinary Association.

Blue Cross education officer Gemma Taylor said: “These majestic police horses have taken part in our survey and we hope they will encourage others to follow suit and be ambassadors for horse welfare.

“The more data we can collect from the survey, the more robust our results will be, helping us to steer equine awareness, education and research to keep our nation’s horses healthier.”

The annual NEHS is an “online snapshot survey” aimed at discovering the health issues affecting the UK’s horses, ponies, donkeys and mules from their owners.

Its results “help build a picture of the health and disease in the UK and define priorities for future research, training and education”, while also being regarded as valuable benchmarks for our general knowledge of horse health.

The survey is open until Monday (29 May) and can be accessed via the Blue Cross website.

Last year, records were returned from almost 17,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. The six most notable disease syndromes were lameness including laminitis, which accounted for nearly a third of all reported problems; skin diseases including sweet itch, external parasites, mud fever, rain scald, tumours and wounds; laminitis, PPID (Cushing’s); recurrent airway obstruction and back problems.

Just over 18% of horses were recorded as being overweight, down from 23% in the 2015 survey but still higher than the 2014 figure of 16.9% in 2014.

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