The Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch (Hyde Park) has joined forces with the Blue Cross to launch the charity's National Equine Health Survey, taking place this week.

The National Equine Health Survey is an online snapshot survey designed to uncover common health issues in horses, directly from horse owners themselves. Results of the survey are used to build a picture of equine health and disease in the UK and define priorities for future research, training and education. 

Over the past six years the survey, in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association, has developed to become one of the UK’s most important endemic disease monitoring initiative. The results are referenced in leading veterinary and equestrian publications and papers and are regarded as valuable benchmarks for our general knowledge of horse health.

Blue Cross Education Officer Gemma Taylor said: "These majestic police horses have taken part in our survey and we hope that they will encourage others to follow suit and be ambassadors for horse welfare.

"The more data we can collect from the National Equine Health Survey the more robust our results will be, helping us to steer equine awareness, education and research to keep our nation’s horses healthier."

Last year survey records were returned for almost 17,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules and the six most notable disease syndromes identified.

  1. Lameness 32.9% including laminitis (compared to 24.4% in 2015, 21% in 2014, 19.2% in 2013 and 12.9% in 2010-12).
  2. Skin diseases (sweet itch, mud fever, rainscald, external parasites, skin tumours and wounds) 25.5% compared to 17.2% in 2015 (18.3% in 2014, 14.6% in 2013 and 15.2% in 2010-12).
  3. Laminitis 6.8% compared to 6.4% in 2015 (7.1% in 2014, 4.4% in 2013 and 3.6% in 2010-12).
  4. PPID (‘Equine Cushing’s Disease) 6.6%. This is similar to the high prevalence of PPID reported in 2015 (6.4%) and 2014 (5.6%) and possibly reflects increased surveillance through sponsored testing programmes as opposed to true increases in prevalence from the pre-2014 surveys.
  5. Recurrent Airway Obstruction 5.6% compared to 6.7% in 2015 (6.9% in 2014, 4.2% in 2013 and 3.6% in 2010-12).
  6. Back problems 5.5% compared to 7% in 2015 (7.7% in 2014, 5% in 2013 and 3% in 2010-12).

To take part in the National Equine Health Survey, visit: www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS

To find out more about Blue Cross’s rescue and rehoming work with horses and ponies visit bluecross.org.uk


Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vet nurses.