Redwings Horse Sanctuary has published the full report of its survey of more than 2,000 horse owners to assess awareness of strangles, attitudes towards the disease, and biosecurity practices.

Only 13% of respondents who kept their horses at a livery yard had their horse screened for strangles on arrival, the survey revealed. IMAGE: Fotolia/Tanja Esser.

The survey, developed in collaboration with the University of Liverpool, attracted almost 5,000 respondents, with 2,002 filling it out in full, representing a diverse demographic of horse owners.

Improve biosecurity

Responses to questions throughout the survey showed an interest and willingness from horse owners to improve biosecurity, said Redwings.

More than 90% of respondents believed strangles should be more of a priority in the UK and, indeed, among the horse owners that took part, understanding of the disease and awareness of the symptoms was good, with 92.5% correctly identifying fever and 96.0% identifying the classic (albeit later) nasal discharge as clinical signs of strangles.

Further, 46.0% of respondents had personal experience of strangles; 46.1% of who reported the case was confirmed by a vet.

Lack of screening

Despite this awareness and eagerness for strangles to be a priority, the survey found only 13% of respondents who kept their horses at a livery yard had their horse screened for strangles on arrival and 74.8% said their yard did not have a screening protocol for new arrivals at all.

This lack of screening does not seem to be because horse owners are not willing to follow the protocol, however; 50.8% said they were “very likely” and a further 28.8% said they were “likely” to use a yard that had strangles testing for new arrivals.

More information

Redwings’ free strangles information and prevention pack for yards and horse owners can be downloaded via the charity’s website – or can be requested in hard copy – including quarantine posters, by emailing


View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

Researchers in Tennessee, US, identify test as other methods often misdiagnose the fatal disease – which has no cure – in its early stages.

4 mins

The RCVS has been accused of neglecting British students studying for veterinary degrees across the EU.

5 mins

Veterinary dermatologist Charlie Walker, otherwise known as the “Skin Vet”, will discuss “Canine atopic dermatitis: a multi-modal treatment approach” on 27 April.

2 mins

Vets are being challenged to help researchers from the University of Liverpool as they attempt to establish the impact of fluke infection in horses across the UK.

4 mins

Imogen Burrows discusses how to approach this subject with owners, how to carry out an assessment and diagnosing a pregnancy.

22 mins

Hannah Gritti describes a unique experience working for charity amid the Caribbean islands.

12 mins