National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS)

All areas of the equine industry answered the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System’s (NAHMS) questions on what the industry needs the most. Over the past three years NAHMS has been conducting focus groups, individual interviews, and

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All areas of the equine industry answered the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System’s (NAHMS) questions on what the industry needs the most. Over the past three years NAHMS has been conducting focus groups, individual interviews, and public surveys to target the needs of the industry.


NAHMS is a nonregulatory USDA program that relies on selected animal or livestock owners who are asked to provide data needed to address national population health and production. To date, NAHMS studies have provided baseline information on the swine, beef and dairy cattle, sheep, and catfish populations. Equine ’98 is NAHMS’ first national equine health assessment.


Many people with ties to the industry, including horse owners, veterinarians, academicians, organizations, diagnostic laboratory personnel, and USDA Veterinary Services’ staff, contributed ideas for study topics. NAHMS compiled input into a series of objectives for a national study of equine health and management.


Many equine health problems were proposed during the needs assessment process, and NAHMS selected those for which a national study could deliver the best information. For instance, Equine ’98 will estimate prevalence of problems such as colic, some lameness conditions, infectious respiratory disease, and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) as reported by horse owners and managers. Other targets are to find out how many US horses are tested for equine infectious anemia (EIA) and why owners test; how many horses have positive and negative titers to equine influenza; and if there is a seasonal aspect to Salmonella and parasite ova fecal shedding in horses

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Written by:

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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