Redwings Horse Sanctuary has had a quarantine ban lifted from its headquarters in Norfolk, following an outbreak of strangles earlier this year.
All the horses on the site in Hapton have now tested negative for the disease and so rehoming of animals is allowed again.
The first case of strangles was discovered on 19 February after a routine check found a horse had nasal discharge.
The six-year-old bay gelding was immediately relocated to the charity’s quarantine centre.
This is the first time in 23 years there has been a case of strangles within the sanctuary’s resident horses.
“We’re delighted the quarantine has now been lifted at Hapton,” said a Redwings spokesman. “This means all the horses on site have been given the all-clear, we can resume horse movements and our rehoming team are now able to resume rehoming operations from the centre. Thank you for your patience everyone.”
The Ada Cole Visitor Centre in Essex reopened in March following a precautionary quarantine period.
However, the charity’s Piggots centre in Norfolk remains under quarantine, where the team continue to treat a number of cases.
There are now 17 horses at the Piggots site that have either tested positive for strangles via scoping or were showing clinical symptoms of the disease. A further two had blood tests that returned positive but were found negative when scoped.
“Our Piggots farm remains the central hub for treating patients that have tested positive for strangles and continues to operate under a traffic light quarantine system to restrict movements and contact with confirmed or suspected positive cases,” added the spokesman.
“Those with clinical symptoms will be tested once their symptoms have gone so they can return to their fields to convalesce. If necessary, repeat testing will be carried out to confirm when they are no longer contagious.
And in light of the recent strangles outbreak Redwings is hosting a veterinary seminar at its Aylsham site in Norfolk.
The free session will be on Wednesday 22 July and open to owners who want to learn more about strangles prevention and management.
There will be presentations from head of welfare and hehaviour Nic de Brauwere and welfare veterinary surgeon Roxane Kirton.
“We have always encouraged owners to speak out on strangles so we didn’t think twice about doing so as soon as it was identified at the sanctuary. It’s time to ditch the strangles stigma and ensure that horse owners know how to identify symptoms and deal with an outbreak,” said Redwings chief executive Lynn Cutress.
To book a place on “Speak out on strangles” tel: 01508 481066 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.