Strangles Eradication is Aim of New British Initiative

The British Horse Society and the Animal Health Trust launched a campaign today (Feb. 1) to raise £250,000 ($492,000) to eradicate Strangles.

Strangles--triggered by the bacterium Streptococcus equi--is one of the most common respiratory diseases, affecting horses of all types and ages.

It spreads quickly in stables, striking horses at a devastating rate. Strangles kills up to 10% of the horses it attacks. Many survivors become silent carriers of the bacteria and go on to infect other horses.

Strangles is an economic disaster for affected stables, which often have to shut down for months. Getting rid of strangles depends on research to improve methods of prevention and diagnosis.

"Strangles must be beaten," said AHT Chief Executive Peter Webbon. "We believe a solution can be found through our research program. We urge everyone to help us and the BHS to end the suffering of horses and ponies caused by strangles."

Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said, "The health and wellbeing of the equine population in the UK is vital and we welcome any opportunity taken by the industry to tackle important equine diseases such as Strangles.

"We applaud this joint approach by The British Horse Society and the Animal Health Trust," Bradshaw said. "We hope their fundraising initiatives are successful and the campaign is well received and supported by the whole horse industry."

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