Martin Nielsen, Schlaikjer Professor of Equine Infectious Disease, at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, set out to produce a series of films to put the record straight on best practices in equine parasitology.
Launching the series of 18 videos in October 2019 he said: “I wanted to try and address common misconceptions and myths in equine parasite control. In this series, I’ll address one myth or misconception at the time and in 45 seconds or less, I will explain why it is exactly that – a myth or misconception. These will be interspersed with a few longer videos providing more background information and highlighting recent research findings.”
Deworm Debunk topics included: deworm at first frost? drug rotation; five-day dewormers; daily dewormers; and how the weather affects parasite transmission.
“As academics and scientists in today’s world, we need to make an effort to communicate our research findings to our end users,” he said. “We need to establish ourselves as the source of solid, evidence-based, and unbiased information. Communication on social media is a must for scientists because that platform is now an integrated part of society and where people acquire and exchange information."
He also showed that such films could be made on a limited budget: “I wanted to make a point out of not needing elaborate equipment or technical assistance. These videos were all shot by an iPhone, and I edited them myself on my laptop computer.”
The “Deworm Debunk” video series were awarded Best Educational Film at the 2019 International EQUUS Film Festival.
The EQUUS Film & Arts Fest took place over four days in December 2019 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Founded in 2013 by equestrian enthusiast, Lisa Diersen, the festival is billed as the first event of its kind to offer a home to the storytellers of the horse world, with films, documentaries, videos, commercials, and shorts from around the world and cultural elements of fine equestrian art and literature.
The first Deworm Debunk video can be found on YouTube, here: