Island show bans mainland horses to halt strangles spread

  • A show on the Highland island of Lewis barred all horses that had recently visited mainland Scotland in a bid to halt the spread of strangles.

    Three cases of the respiratory infection have been confirmed in Inverness-shire and Ross-shire since June.

    So Lochside Arena Show organiser Fiona Chisolm decided to exclude horses that had travelled to shows in that area in the previous 14 days from her show on 13 August.

    She told H&H: “Most people were very understanding and we still had a good turnout.”

    Stornoway vet Hector Low said: “Strangles could easily become endemic on Lewis.”

    He said 14 days is the maximum incubation time for the bacteria.

    But Stornoway-based Kathleen Connor, feels the precautions were taken too far.

    “It did not affect me but three others on my livery yard had planned to go to the show and were banned because my lightweight hunter had visited mainland shows,” she said.

    Ms Chisolm added: “If she had not brought her horse back to the yard there would have been no problem with the other riders attending.”

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (25 August 2011)

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