A three-fold increase in the number of responses to Britain’s annual National Equine Welfare Survey is being hailed as phenomenal.
Its backers say the increase shows the nation’s burgeoning enthusiasm to help safeguard the future health and welfare of horses.
This year, information on common health issues in horses was collected from 12,301 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in Britain, a massive jump on last year’s 4730.
The information is now being analysed by vets at the Royal Veterinary College in London.
It will be published later this northern summer and the results 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 results will also include keenly awaited answers to some new, topical questions on equine infectious diseases, ragwort and atypical myopathy.
The survey was launched in 2010 by the Blue Cross and the British Equine Veterinary Association. It is now run annually, over a week every May and is supported by Zoetis and feed firm Spillers.
Blue Cross education officer Gemma Taylor said: “This year we have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal level of response. 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.”