The USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will launch Equine 2015, its third national study of the U.S. equine industry, in May. NAHMS conducted previous equine studies in 1998 and 2005.

A NAHMS stakeholder announcement indicated the Equine 2015 is designed to provide participants, industry, and animal health officials with information on the nation’s equine population that will serve as a basis for education, service, and research related to equine health and management. The survey is also designed to provide the industry with new and valuable information regarding trends in the industry for 1998, 2005, and 2015.

"The findings from the NAHMS studies will allow equine owners and equine operation managers to compare their equine health and management to that of national and regional equine health occurrence and equine care practices," explained Josie Traub-Dargatz, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, a professor of equine medicine and epidemiology at Colorado State University and equine commodity specialist for USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services (VS) Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health. "The study findings will also allow researchers and others to determine need for further investigation of equine health problems."

The stakeholder announcement said that, for this study, NAHMS asked equine owners, industry stakeholders, and government officials to provide input and define the information needs of the equine industry. From this process, NAHMS identified seven study objectives:

  • Describe trends in equine care and health management for study years (1998, 2005, and 2