Horse Health Week 2019 highlights risk factors for infectious diseases

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Between 25–29 March, Horse Health Week will be raising awareness of how exposed Britain’s horses are to infectious diseases and how appropriate vaccination and biosecurity helps reduce this risk. 

The brand behind the campaign, Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy (KBHH), wants horse owners to know the risks when it comes to equine infectious disease.

Infectious disease — why take the risk?

Research carried out by MSD found that the most common misconceptions about infectious diseases, and reasons not to vaccinate, are:

  • No disease in the local area

  • No contact with other horses

  • Horse doesn’t leave the yard/field

  • Concern about the safety of vaccines

  • Too little known about the value of vaccinating

  • Too expensive to vaccinate

Vicki Farr, equine veterinary advisor at MSD Animal Health, commented: “36% of owners choose not to vaccinate because their horse doesn’t leave the yard or meet other horses. But even if a horse lives alone and doesn’t meet other horses or people, he’s still at potential risk of infection.”

Vicki added: “The recent flu outbreak serves as a timely reminder that unvaccinated horses are at risk of serious disease and that immunity doesn’t last a lifetime. Owners should ensure their horses’ vaccinations are up to date.”

During Horse Health Week there will be a daily quiz for horse owners to keep KBHH’s mascot, Buzz, happy and healthy, with KBHH saddlecloths as prizes.

Do you #KnowYourRisk when it comes to infectious diseases? Use the table in our latest issue to assess the risk to your horse.


Your Horse magazine/KBHH’s pull out KnowYourRisk poster is free with issue 450 of Your Horse. Haven’t got the issue yet? Order a copy here.

Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here