Experts collaborate to tackle increasing threat to the equine industry.
A pan-industry group has been formed to tackle the increasing threat that wormer resistance poses to horse health and the equine industry.
The initiative, known as CANTER (Controlling ANTiparasitic resistance in Equines Responsibly), brings together prescribers, vets, diagnostic providers, pharmaceutical companies, trade organisations, technical experts, horse owners, charities and policy makers.
All acknowledge a need for coordinated action to slow the development and maintain efficacy of limited treatments.
Dr Claire Stratford of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and core steering group lead, said:
“I hope that CANTER will raise awareness and stimulate action across the equine community towards sustainable parasite control.
“Our aim is for CANTER to become the trusted source of information for prescribers and horse owners and to facilitate informed discussion about this important aspect of horse health.”
The group is to publish best practice guidelines by the year’s end. These will give prescribers evidence-based advice and information on sustainable, responsible and practical strategies for parasite control in equines.
Faecal egg count guidance will be produced to inform protocols on collecting, processing and interpreting the results and promote effective use of diagnostic and monitoring tools.
A research arm has been formed to identify knowledge gaps and opportunities, and a communication strategy is being developed.
“The aim is to support a consistent approach to parasite control across the equine community and to become a single source of truth on issues related to antiparasitic resistance in equines, in an area that has traditionally seen some mixed messaging,” said a statement from CANTER at its launch.
David Rendle, president of The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) added: “Anthelmintic resistance represents a huge threat to equine health and welfare.
“Universal adoption of a diagnostic led approach to parasite control and a dramatic reduction in the use of anthelmintics is what’s needed to address this, and I hope, what CANTER will provide the impetus for.
“If horse owners don’t make these changes now, it will be too late.”
Other supporters of CANTER include Claire Shand from Westgate Labs, Claire Williams from BETA and Badminton and Burghley winner, Piggy March.
For more information and to download a free parasite risk profile for hose owners, visit www.canterforhorses.org.uk.