Experts join forces in the fight against colic

The British Horse Society (BHS) is joining forces with the University of Nottingham to launch their first colic awareness week.

As part of their “REACT now to beat colic” campaign, the society and university are running the event from 1 to 7 April to help raise awareness of the importance of being able to recognise subtle, early signs of colic.

The REACT campaign was launched in 2016 after the university found 90% of owners did not feel comfortable in spotting early signs of colic.

Since then, the BHS has distributed nearly 30,000 colic information packs and 15,000 guides to owners.

BHS welfare education manager Emmeline Hannelly said: “We are really excited about hosting our first ever colic awareness week with the university. Since we launched the REACT campaign, we have received so many positive responses from horse owners and vets as a result of the information we provide.

“Colic is still a huge welfare concern for horse owners due to the suddenness with which it can appear and the potential consequences. I think dedicating a whole week to raising awareness of issues associated with the condition will help provide owners with the information they need to make informed decisions about their horses’ welfare.”

During the week, the BHS and the university will be sharing tips and advice on preventing and recognising colic. Vet practices that back the campaign will also be raising awareness of the condition with clients.

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Sarah Freeman, professor of veterinary surgery at the university’s school of veterinary medicine and science, said: “Colic is the most common emergency in the horse and can involve some really difficult decisions for owners. The awareness week is a great new initiative to help owners recognise signs of colic early, act promptly and make the best decisions for their horses”.

Horse owners can access more information about colic and get involved during the week by following the BHS’s website and social media accounts.

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