Published: 21/12/2012 15:24:23
will the next frankel be born in 2013?
Every Thoroughbred foal born in the Northern hemisphere during 2013 will be given an “official” birth date of 1 January, so this is an important time of year for racehorse breeders.
The AHT has a leading role in the registration of foals, as we perform all the parentage testing for Thoroughbred foals in Great Britain. Without the results of this test to prove the animal’s lineage, horses cannot be registered in the General Stud Book. Our dedicated team of scientists takes these tests, and their impact, very seriously and is proud to support the Thoroughbred industry in this way.
In addition to the parentage testing, we are also committed to minimising the risk of disease to mares and foals during this incredibly important time. The AHT constantly monitors equine disease around the world, identifying threats to the British equine population - such as equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) and Strangles.
We work with owners, trainers and regulatory authorities/breeders associations, to get any disease outbreak under control. For example, the AHT was recently involved in helping to control and clear the outbreak of paralytic EHV-1 that claimed the lives of three horses in a training yard in Devon.
EHV-1 is particularly devastating, causing respiratory disease, abortion or paralysis. At current, there is no vaccine effective against all forms of the disease. However, the AHT recently received funding from the Alborada Trust, to conduct a five-year study into the EHV-1 virus. This research project aims to better the understanding of the virus, so that a successful vaccine may one day be created.
The bacterial respiratory disease, Strangles, also causes widespread problems to breeders, but the AHT is able to help prevent, manage and then clear an outbreak. All new animals going on to a stud can be screened using tests developed at, and provided by, the AHT to detect potential ‘silent’ carriers of infection. This reduces the chances of introduction of the disease, but if disease does develop we have techniques to rapidly diagnose Strangles so that infected horses can be quickly isolated to minimise the risk of spread to other horses on the premises.
Much of the equine owning population is not aware of the contribution we make and the huge impact we have on the health and welfare of animals, not just in Britain but internationally. To read more about our fight against disease and injury in horses, click here.
Image courtesy of Marie Bushill
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