Work to contain strangles outbreak continues

  • Ponies in Cornwall are continuing to be monitored following a strangles outbreak earlier this month.

    Three ponies were found to have the contagious disease on 8 July in the Minions area of Bodmin Moor.

    The infected equines were removed from the moor in a bid to stop the disease from spreading.

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    Julie Dowton, secretary to the Bodmin Moor Commoners and the Association of Bodmin Moor Commons Landowners, is coordinating efforts to contain the outbreak.

    Yesterday (Monday 20 July) she confirmed to H&H there were no further cases.

    “We are still monitoring them daily, checking all of the animals in that area,” said Ms Dowton.

    “By removing the three we have taken away the most serious threat.

    “Obviously we are still urging people to be vigilant and to report anything.”

    She added Redwings Horse Sanctuary has been “brilliant” with the help it has given them.

    This includes distributing flyers with advice about strangles to owners in the area.

    At the time of the outbreak, a spokeswoman for the charity encouraged calm among horse owners on the moor and the surrounding areas.

    “We would ask everyone to be vigilant and take reasonable precautions to help prevent any spread of the disease,” she said.

    She added it is “vital” to call a vet if you think your horse or pony may be showing signs.

    Strangles is primarily spread between horses by direct contact or sharing things such as water troughs.

    It can also be passed on by people’s hands, clothing, tack and yard equipment.

    Signs of strangles include a plus 38.5°C temperature, depression, loss of appetite and thick, yellow mucus draining from both nostrils.

    Hot, painful abscesses may develop on the sides of the head and throat, which may burst and discharge pus.

    However, signs vary from mild to severe and are not always typical.

    Ms Dowton also welcomed the news that the government will be forming a new Bodmin Moor Commons Council.

    She said it means they are able to plan about how they would deal with future outbreaks.

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