Balancing Horse Movement and Disease Prevention

One researcher suggests some steps that could minimize disease risk without impeding horses? travel.
Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

In today’s world of increasing national and international equine events and breeding opportunities, one of the big issues practitioners and governing bodies face is maintaining a balance between facilitating horse movement and mitigating disease risk. At the 2012 International Conference on Equine Infectious Disease, held Oct. 22-26 in Lexington, Ky., Peter Timoney, PhD, FRCVS, professor and former department chair and director of the University of Kentucky’s Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, spoke on this topic with emphasis on international travel, but his takehomes are just as important and applicable to domestic horse transport.

“Some very wise people said to me many years ago, ‘Once you stop movement of horses, you’ve crippled an industry,’ and there’s nothing more true,” he began.

Timoney explained that maximizing protection from infectious disease spread while minimizing restrictions on horse movement are conflicting aims at their core. The health requirements that govern horse movement are intended primarily to minimize the risk of introducing diseases into an equine population. Due to significant trends that have developed in the past 30 to 40 years, however, risk of disease spread through horse movement has increased. Some of the trends Timoney identified include:

  • An exponential growth in the number of prestigious equestrian and racing events;
  • A significant increase in the number of stallions used for dual-hemisphere breeding; and
  • The acceptance and use of artificial insemination by the vast majority of breed registries

    Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

    TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

    Start your free account today!

    Already have an account?
    and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What signs does your horse show when he has gastric ulcers? Please check all that apply.
79 votes · 199 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!