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Fellowship to provide new approaches to equine grass sickness
The cause of equine grass sickness remains unknown.
Researchers to engage with vets and horse owners to develop sample biobank.

The Moredun Foundation (TMF) has announced a collaboration with the Equine Grass Sickness Fund (EGSF) to launch a three-year Fellowship to develop new approaches to equine grass sickness (EGS) research.

Based at Moredun's International Research Unit, the Fellowship aims to establish a national database and sample biobank with the assistance of a UK-wide network of vets and horse owners. Key to this will be the study of novel strands of research using the latest technologies, supported by senior researchers and Fellows.

“This is a really exciting project bringing together a truly multi-disciplinary team working in collaboration to provide new approaches to this awful disease,” explained Dr Beth Wells from Moredun. “We are very grateful to TMF and the EGSF for their foresight in funding this post which, as well as taking forward new ideas and research strands, will involve extensive engagement with vets and horse owners to establish the database and biobank.”

Research into equine grass sickness began in the 1920s when the disease was responsible for the deaths of many working horses on farms. The cause remains unknown, but researchers are in agreement that it is likely to be multi-factorial.

Currently, there are no vaccines or treatments for EGS and approximately 80 per cent of horses that catch the disease do not survive.

“The EGS Fellowship marks a step-change in the way we approach this enigmatic disease,” said Kate Thomson for the EGSF. “We plan to engage the considerable expertise amongst horse owners and other equine charities as ‘EGS detectives’ in submitting case reports and samples to the biobank.”

The EGS research update, which helped pave the way for this project, can be downloaded from grasssickness.org.uk. Recruitment for this post is expected to begin shortly.

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.