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Horse Community uniting to fight Infectious Disease

Over 370 horse owners and 99 yard managers across the UK have already vouched to help fight infectious disease by pledging their support to Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s ‘Stamp Out Strangles’ campaign.

In November 2018, the charity launched its Strangles Pledge, asking the equestrian community to come together to champion better biosecurity practices to rid the country of strangles for good. Strangles is a devastating disease which can cause misery for both horses, their owners and equestrian businesses.

Redwings says it’s thrilled with the response to the campaign so far, with Pledgers showing a clear appetite for change, especially in the wake of recent outbreaks of another highly infectious disease, equine influenza, hitting the headlines.
The charity continues to urge more yard managers and horse owners to get involved and has an exciting year of activities and events planned to highlight the vital importance of biosecurity, including a strangles symposium, free veterinary seminars and a national day of action.

Andie Vilela, Redwings’ Education and Campaigns Manager said: “We’re thrilled with the reaction to our Pledge so far, not just by the level of support we’ve received but also the conversations about biosecurity that have arisen from it. So many people have shared stories of their experiences with strangles and the stigma they’ve faced, some particularly heart-breaking, demonstrating a clear desire for meaningful change to happen.

A recent survey we conducted of livery yards showed that 68% have some form of screening process in place, which is really encouraging. However, just 13% of horse owners said they take measures to protect their horses, so we know there’s a lot more to be done.

Our campaign provides easily-accessible practical advice, information and resources to make it as simple as possible for yard managers and horse owners to work together to proactively improve hygiene practices, something we understand is important when fitting busy lives around caring for horses. With equine flu hitting the headlines, more people are talking about the importance of good biosecurity so don’t get left behind – take the Pledge today.”

For more information and to take the Pledge, head to www.redwings.org.uk/strangles

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