A Scottish horse sanctuary has been rewarded for action on equine strangles.
Redwings was recognised for the valuable contribution it has made in controlling equine strangles – a contagious upper respiratory tract infection of horses and other equines – by being awarded PASS Silver Status by SRUC Veterinary Services, which runs the national Premium Assured Strangles Scheme.
The successful Redwings Stamp Out Strangles Campaign hub encourages yard managers and horse owners to screen new horses coming on to a yard so that strangles carriers can be identified and treated.
Set in 220 acres of beautiful woodlands and paddocks, Redwings Mountains provides a place of sanctuary to 100 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. It is located near Forfar.
Redwings encourages people to be open and honest about the disease and provides materials with advice and guidance for vets, horse owners and yard owners. So far, their campaign has gained the support of 135 yard owners and more than 500 horse owners who have pledged their support in tackling strangles.
As well as offering support to other yards, they practice what they preach as all horses that are brought into Redwings from outside the sanctuary are kept within a suitable quarantine area while they are monitored and tested for strangles.
The quarantine period is a minimum of three weeks to allow for the incubation of infectious disease in horses who may have had contact just before their admission. All new horses and those returning from guardian homes are tested for strangles by a veterinary surgeon.
Jill Thomson, veterinary manager of PASS at SRUC Veterinary Services, said: ‘We are delighted to be awarding PASS Silver Status to Redwings Horse Sanctuary, who implement testing and biosecurity protocols to control strangles in their own yards as well as campaigning and educating the equine industry.’
PASS Silver status has been awarded to the Redwings Headquarters at Hapton, Redwings Caldecott, Redwings Ada Cole, Redwings Aylsham, Redwings Oxhill, Redwings Mountains, Redwings SWHP.
PASS membership is open to any yard across the country able to implement a testing and biosecurity programme and the newest Bronze Status is available for yards which have not had a case of equine strangles for the last two years (as certified by a vet). All new horses are quarantined on arrival, are tested for freedom from Strep equi and any horses found to be strangles carriers are treated to eliminate the infection.
Membership offers national recognition of a yard’s health status. To find out more, visit www.equinehealthscheme.com.
The Premium Assured Strangles Scheme is an initiative launched by SRUC Veterinary Services (formerly SAC Consulting) and supported by The British Horse Society (BHS) in the battle for Strangles prevention.
Visit www.redwings.org.uk/for further details.