Dr Richard Newton

Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance

Richard advises the equine industry on matters of disease prevention and control and sits on the Veterinary Committees of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA).

Richard’s work is directed at maximising the prevention of disease wherever possible or the control of disease if it occurs. This research is centred on population health of horses and to a lesser extent dogs. Richard advises the equine industry on matters of disease prevention and control and sits on the Veterinary Committees of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA). He also sits on the Codes of Practice Sub-Committee of the Horserace Betting Levy Board’s (HBLB) veterinary advisory Committee and works closely with Defra on disease surveillance and outbreak control as a member of their Equine Experts Group which is involved with emerging and exotic disease threats to UK horses. Richard also works closely with other Animal Health Trust scientists and is closely involved in both equine inherited (genetic) and infectious disease research programmes.

Qualifications

BVSc, MSc, PhD, DLSHTM, DipECVPH, FRCVS

Expertise and interests

Richard’s areas of predominant interest are epidemiology and surveillance of infectious diseases of the horse, including influenza, EHV, EVA, strangles and bacterial lower airway disease. Other spheres of professional interest have included epidemiological aspects of internal medicine and non-infectious respiratory disease, including grass sickness, liver disease, tying up, EIPH and laminitis.

Biography

After graduating in Veterinary Science from Liverpool University in 1991 and working in mixed practice, Richard Newton joined the Epidemiology Unit of the Animal Health Trust in 1994.

Since completing a Masters in Communicable Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in November 1998 he has worked on the epidemiology of grass sickness, EIPH and equine infectious diseases, including equine viral arteritis, influenza and strangles.

He completed his PhD on the epidemiology of equine infectious respiratory disease in 2002 and in 2003 was awarded both the Diploma of Fellowship from the Royal College Veterinary Surgeons and became a de facto Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health.

He is currently Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance at the Animal Health Trust. The group at the AHT currently has programmes on infectious disease surveillance in the UK for which it prepares quarterly disease reports for Defra; a dedicated programme on grass sickness surveillance and recently completed programmes looking at the epidemiology of laminitis in the UK and assessing the accuracy of data held within the National Equine Database (NED).

Richard has previously been involved in trying to solve the mystery of seasonal canine illness (SCI). The Animal Health Trust first became aware of the disease in September 2010. SCI is an emerging and sometimes fatal illness affecting dogs walked in woodland environments in the autumn months.