The American Horse Council, in conjunction with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, USDA, and state animal health officials, have announced that the National Equine Health Plan (NEHP) is now available at equinediseasecc.org/national-equine-health-plan.
“Horses are transported with more frequency than other livestock,” said Julie Broadway, AHC president. “We have seen firsthand how disease outbreaks cost the industry millions of dollars for the care of sick horses, implementation of biosecurity, and lost revenue in the form of cancelled or restricted commercial equine activities such as horse shows.”
In 2013, the industry decided to address the issue of handling disease outbreaks and sharing information regarding the same, which led to the creation of the NEHP, she added.
The organization’s goals are to protect the health and welfare of the U.S. horse population, facilitate the continued interstate and international movement of horses and their products, ensure regulatory service availability, and protect the economic continuity of equine industry businesses.
The NEHP also aims to help horse owners, industry organizations, veterinarians, and state and federal animal health officials to prevent, recognize, control, and respond to diseases and environmental disasters. The plan facilitates horse industry preparedness, effective rapid communication, and owner education.
Links to information and resources are included in the NEHP document, including a list of “Roles and Responsibilities” for all stakeholders in the industry.
“The Equine Disease Communication Center is a key element of the NEHP and provides critical communication of information during disease outbreaks,” said Nat White, DVM, MS, DACVS, EDCC director. “Additionally, we provide information about diseases, vaccination, biosecurity, state health regulations, state animal health official contact information, and links to USDA-APHIS veterinary services. By integrating the roles of regulatory agencies with industry stakeholders, equine health and welfare are improved.”