A year after the launch of the Stamp Out Strangles pledge, a short survey of the horse owners and yard managers who have already made this voluntary commitment to better biosecurity has revealed some fascinating and encouraging insights.
To date, more than 1,000 pledgers have joined the campaign to help protect horses from the UK’s most common infectious disease and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to tell us if and how the pledge has impacted on them.
We know that many people pledge to help them sustain and share their existing biosecurity practices, but we wanted to know whether pledging also helps people develop new habits to help protect horses from strangles. And we were delighted that the survey data suggests pledging not only raises awareness, but can lead to practical changes in behaviour too.
Eighty-five pledgers contributed to the survey, and key findings include:
- Three quarters of horse owners (75%) who responded said their biosecurity standards had improved in the past year
- Almost half of yard managers we surveyed (49%) told us they had introduced or updated the way they quarantine and/or screen new horses for strangles in the past year
- Further recent improvements to yard biosecurity were also reported by 43% of yard managers; where specified, these included allocating an isolation stable, new procedures for horse transport, staff training and routine use of disinfectant
- More than two thirds (70%) of horse owners who took part said they would be more likely to have their horse checked and cleared of being a strangles carrier if they were infected with the disease than they would have been a year ago
- Almost half of horse owners (48%) and nearly a third of yard managers (31%) said they would take action more quickly if they suspected a horse showed possible strangles signs compared to a year ago (the remaining respondents said they would take action equally quickly).
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