When:     18 – 24 May 2015

Where:    Online at www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS

What:       A short, anonymous snapshot survey about your horse’s health

Why:        To help safeguard the future health and welfare of our horses and ponies 

The National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) is an important annual survey run by leading charity Blue Cross, in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association. It’s a unique opportunity for horse owners to give feedback about the health of their horses, ponies and donkeys so that the most common diseases and problems be identified, prioritised and addressed.

NEHS is supported by the UK’s leading equestrian organisations and charities and sponsored by SPILLERS and Zoetis. It has now been running for five years and is already helping our knowledge of horse heath. Participation increased threefold last year, with data collected from over 12,301 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the UK, demonstrating the equestrian nation’s enthusiasm to do their bit. The results help to establish benchmarks for equine health and disease in the UK and define priorities for future research, training and education. Equine and veterinary colleges and universities also use the data as primary source material.

Last year we discovered more about the rise of Atypical Myopathy in the UK. Further awareness of this highly fatal disease is now being raised, incidences are being recorded and monitored by UK vets, and further research is continuing. For the second year lameness was identified as the most common syndrome and there was an apparent increase in laminitis compared with previous years. The 2014 survey also highlighted that 20% of owners are unaware of the risk of encysted small redworm and showed that the reported number of overweight horses and ponies had more than doubled since the previous year.

Gemma Taylor, Education Officer at Blue Cross said: “Over the past five years NEHS has become a crucial information resource for the equestrian industry. It is helping us to steer awareness, education and research with the sole purpose of safeguarding the future healthcare of our horses. By giving five minutes of your time to complete the survey you can help to make a lifetime of difference.”

Visit www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS or email NEHS@bluecross.org.uk to register for NEHS.