understanding of equine infectious disease risks associated with the contact networks and risks created by competition and leisure horse movements within the United Kingdom.
Recent outbreaks of equine influenza, strangles and equine herpes virus have highlighted the impact these diseases can have on horse health, welfare, and the equine industry itself.
So they can better understand the disease risks in UK competition and leisure horses, the research team need to gather information on the movement of horses – to competitions, shows, rides or even just out hacking.
The RVC project is seeking to capture data to create an overall picture of horse movement throughout the country with the aim of ultimately improving biosecurity in the equine herd.
The researchers hope that understanding these networks and clusters will allow them to develop strategies to target potential hotspots of disease risk, resulting in positive impacts on equine wellbeing by informing current and future UK horse industry disease surveillance and control programmes.
To do this they have teamed up with the Equine Register, who run the Digital Stable smartphone app. Horse riders are asked to use the app to share details of their rides and journeys with their horse.
According to the researchers, whether it’s a hack, competing at a show or event or transporting their horse somewhere, by recording this information riders can be a part of this vital research.
As an incentive to take part in this study, participants will be entered into a free prize draw offering a chance to win £500 for themselves and £500 for charity.
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