Published: 03/12/2012 12:26:13
PILOT VACCINE TRIAL ANNOUNCED FOR EQUINE GRASS SICKNESS
The Animal Health Trust and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh are conducting a small pilot trial of a vaccine to protect against equine grass sickness, following approval by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
The pilot study, based in eastern Scotland, has enrolled a total of 100 horses and ponies. Since equine grass sickness was first reported in this region of Scotland more than a century ago the disease continues to occur with high frequency, making the area a very fitting choice of location for this pilot study. We have been delighted by the huge amount of support and enthusiasm already shown by participating owners and veterinary surgeons.
This pilot study is in preparation for a full nationwide vaccine trial involving at least 1000 horses and ponies, which is likely to commence in 2014 subject to securing sufficient funding. This is a very exciting development for equine grass sickness research and we have great hopes that these vaccine trials will mark an enormous breakthrough in the prevention of this devastating disease. Although there is still a lot of work to do before launching the full nationwide vaccine trial, this initial pilot study will help to ensure that the trial design will be practical to perform on a larger scale.
The Equine Grass Sickness Fund is spearheading a campaign to raise funds for the full vaccine trial, which is being run in collaboration with the Animal Health Trust, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh and the School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool.
Kate Thomson, spokesperson for the Fund, said ‘We are over the moon that the pilot vaccine trial has begun, but fundraising now starts in earnest to ensure that the full trial can go ahead. Grass sickness brings about a devastating annual toll, and we are appealing to every horse owner in the UK to help bring an end to this disease by donating to this cause’.
If you would like to support the equine grass sickness vaccine trial by making a donation to the Equine Grass Sickness Fund, please visit www.grasssickness.org.uk
Spending your money wisely
From every £1 you give
us we spend 93p
fighting disease and
injury in animals.
We use the remaining 7p
to raise the next £1.