The National Animal Health Monitoring Systems (NAHMS), a program within the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, conducts various animal health studies. NAHMS conducted specific studies of equine health and management during 1998 and again in 2005. These studies provide information that offers equine owners and managers the opportunity to compare the occurrence of selected diseases in horses or health management practices employed on their operations to the national estimates reported by NAHMS.

Horse owners and their veterinarians know how they manage the horses in their region, and they often assume that others with horses do the same thing, but this might not be the case. For example, based on the NAHMS Equine Study, fewer operations in the Western region (18.4% of operations) vaccinated some or all of their equids against rabies, while a larger percent of operations in other regions reported vaccination of equids against rabies (48.6% of operations in Northeast region, 38% of operations in the South, and 28.8% in the Central region). This information provides an awareness of a region’s preventive health measures when horses are being moved between regions. It is important for owners and their veterinarians to ask about vaccination history and not assume that the management practices they use are what other owners practice in different regions.

These studies also point out areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement in equine health management practices. For example, while a Coggins test or other test for equine infectious anemia (EIA) was required by more than 60% of operations that introduced new animals to their herds, it was less common that these operations required a health certificate and past medical history. Knowing the past and current health status of newly introduced horses would allow the operation personnel to implement specific measures and manage the risk these new arrivals might pose.console.log('scenario 2');