The Blue Cross is offering one lucky horse owner the chance to become the face of the charity’s National Equine Health Survey – a twice-yearly survey designed to help improve the health of equines in the UK.

Leading animal charity The Blue Cross is offering one lucky horse, pony, donkey or mule owner the chance to become the face of a national campaign.

Does your horse have The Blue X factor?The winner will have a photo shoot with their horse which will be used on posters and leaflets to promote the charity’s National Equine Health Survey (NEHS).

NEHS is a twice-yearly survey designed to help improve the health of equines in the UK. The next one is being held from May 9-15 and The Blue Cross needs as many owners as possible to take part. Everyone who completes the survey will be automatically entered into the competition and the winner will be picked the following week.

Pioneered by The Blue Cross and supported by The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), the NEHS is helping the charity to discover more about endemic non-notifiable diseases, such as coughs, skin diseases and lameness. It is being run every May and November.

Kerry Doyle, education officer at The Blue Cross said: “We owe it to our horses to keep them in the best possible health and the survey is a quick and easy way of taking direct action. If you are an owner or keeper of a horse, pony, donkey or mule we urge you to participate. One lucky person and their horse or pony will get to be the star of our campaign, so sign up now before it’s too late.” 

Blue Cross education officer Kerry Doyle.The results of the first NEHS survey, held in November 2010, assessed 306 sets of records submitted from 3,120 horses and challenged some established ideas on common conditions. For example; the survey found that lameness was common, as expected, but that the foot was not the most common cause of lameness, which was unexpected. 

This kind of data has never been collected before and, according to The Blue Cross, is invaluable to the veterinary profession and wider animal welfare industry, helping to inform future research, training and education. It provides a benchmarking facility for equine disease, welfare, standards of care and codes of practice and in addition confirms the workability of an important template to monitor the future, serious threat of infectious and exotic disease.

Ms Doyle added: “As more and more surveys are conducted, using larger numbers of horses, we are hoping to start to see seasonal patterns and correlations in equine health and disease. This will build a clearer picture of the baseline health of the country’s horses, providing important information for future care and welfare.”

The survey very quick and easy to complete and should only take around five minutes. To register online visit www.bluecross.org.uk/NEHS or email NEHS@bluecross.org.uk.

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