Our world-leading scientists will benefit from a three-year funding grant from Tattersalls to help fight Strangles.

Strangles is caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus equi (S. equi), and is the most commonly diagnosed infectious disease of horses in the world. It is estimated that more than 600 outbreaks of Strangles occur in the UK each year. Our world-leading scientists will benefit from a three-year funding grant from Tattersalls to help fight this disease.

Strangles is highly contagious and is passed from one horse to another via the nose or mouth through direct contact with another horse or contact with infected items. The bacteria enters a horse’s lymph nodes which then swell, develop abscesses and rupture, shedding pus and bacteria into the environment. Just one drop of pus from an infected horse contains as many as two million bacteria, making Strangles highly infectious. During outbreaks up to 100% of the horses may be affected and in some cases the disease can be fatal.

The funding from Tattersalls will help to launch a new international Strangles surveillance scheme which will allow ongoing assessment of its welfare impact and highlight trends over time and in different geographical areas. Through samples collected it will also help the AHT scientists to conduct whole genome sequencing of S. equi, which will assist in future vaccine efficacy to prevent the disease taking hold in the first instance.

Kevin Clements, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the Animal Health Trust, said “We are delighted that Tattersalls have agreed to help fund our Strangles research programme.  As a charity we are reliant on the generous support from organisations like Tattersalls to help us to continue our important work.  With the ever increasing movement of horses across the world, research into a disease like this couldn’t be more important.”

Gavin Davies, Director of Bloodstock Sales at Tattersalls, said “At our sales in the UK and Ireland we catalogue around 14,000 Thoroughbred horses each year and are acutely aware how distressing an infectious outbreak can be to horse owners, breeders and trainers.  The work of the scientists at the AHT will help ensure that future generations of horses, globally, have the best chance of being protected from this disease in the future.”

Representatives from Tattersalls and the Animal Health Trust celebrate the funding agreement at the Tattersalls sales. Left – right: Edmond Mahony, Tattersalls Chairman, Gavin Davies, Director of Bloodstock Sales, with Kevin Clements, Director of Fundraising and Marketing of the Animal Health Trust and Andrew Simmonds, Assistant Director of Fundraising at the Animal Health Trust.