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Horse Show Biosecurity

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168 – March/April, 2024

By William Given

The major shows are upon us and with them comes one of the things we all fear most–a sick horse. Biosecurity should be a priority for owners and exhibitors before, during and after a show to ensure the health and welfare of the animals shown as well as those at home. Biosecurity is the development and implementation of management procedures designed to reduce and possibly prevent an equine disease from infecting an individual horse or from entering a population.

Not all equine diseases are created equal–some are more highly contagious, while some are much more virulent, and sadly, some horses are simply more susceptible to disease-causing organisms. It is important to develop biosecurity plans that are specific to a single horse, an owner’s operation and developed in partnership with everyone involved in the care of show animals. Biosecurity plans should be written and reviewed regularly and updated as needed.

Strong biosecurity practices require attention to detail and rely heavily upon good animal husbandry. All horses should be assessed daily. A horse’s attitude, behavior, food and water intake, fecal output and overall appearance should be noted. Any change in any area and the actions initiated to correct those changes should be documented.

The importance of biosecurity

Click here to read the complete article
168 – March/April, 2024

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