Participation in the annual National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) has increased by almost 300% this year, according to animal charity The Blue Cross.

Data on common health issues in horses was collected from 12,301 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the UK – almost three times the number of animals included in the previous survey (4,730).

Blue Cross education officer Gemma Taylor said: “We have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal level of response.”

The NEHS was first launched in 2010 by The Blue Cross and the British Equine Veterinary Association, and is now run annually.

Information from the 2014 survey is now being analysed by vets at the Royal Veterinary College and will be published later in 2014. The results will be used to help define priorities for future research, training and education as well as being used as primary source material for veterinary colleges and universities.

The collated information will also include keenly awaited answers to some new, topical questions on equine infectious diseases, ragwort and atypical myopathy.

In thanking participants, Gemma said: “Not only are we grateful to the major equestrian organisations for their support but we would also like to thank every individual owner or keeper who took part. It is only with your continued help that we can make a difference to the future health of our precious horses.”

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