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Biosecurity - valid or petty?

5 replies

DrMaryMalone · 24/10/2021 17:41

I have just moved my horse to a new yard which is part of an assurance scheme which includes strict Biosecurity measures.
To move we had to have 2 clear strangles tests, put horse in isolation field for 3 weeks and can't use any of the shared facilities such as the feed room during that period either. All fairly standard nowadays but have also been told that we can't get lifts to shows using friends from another yards trailer because its against the guidance of the scheme. Given all that, I was surprised to find that the isolation field we have been allocated had not been pooh picked from the previous occupant and water buckets used by them were also still there. Would I be petty to mention that this doesn't seem like best practice given how big a deal they have made of their stringent controls? I don't have my own wheelbarrow there as pooh picking is included in the livery charge or I would have just cleared the field myself when we arrived!

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Pleasedontdothat · 24/10/2021 18:34

It depends if you want to get on the wrong side of the yard owner … to be honest, the rules are ticking boxes so they can say they’re part of the scheme - if it’s not absolutely required, they won’t take it into account. It’s like lots of the Covid precautions companies take - many will make virtually no difference to infection rates, other things which would arguably make a greater difference are ignored because they’re less visible.

It’s only three weeks, IIWY I’d just suck it up! Much better to have a good relationship with the yard staff than be ‘right’ …

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countrygirl99 · 25/10/2021 14:05

Is the lifts thing permanent? That would bug me, the rest I would suck up. I would have been silently annoyed about the field and it would put me on alert for other stuff that wasn't as it should be. Hopefully it's a one off due to "stuff" that meant they weren't on top that particular day.

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HighlandCowbag · 25/10/2021 16:44

Presumably the horses in the field before you passed biosecurity so the poo is safe poo. And the lifts thing I agree with as well tbh. We had to have a clear strangles test to move but then no quarantine period.

I don't actually think the strangles test is all that good tbh, one of mine came back positive despite the pony being a homebred and nothing on/off the yard for 4 years. It was actually a positive for strepzoo, rather than strepequus but the blood test doesn't differentiate between the two.

But that aside, good biosecurity is a good thing, though how effective any measures are when people go out competing is another matter.

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CaptainThe95thRifles · 26/10/2021 13:01

The trailer rule is very sensible biosecurity - horse people are often far too lax with basic measures like this. The willingness of riders to let their horses come into close contact with other horses offsite is pretty staggering from a disease control perspective.

The field probably doesn't represent a significant risk in biosecurity terms, particularly if the buckets have been emptied / cleaned / re-filled. The manure being left is rubbish management though and would definitely piss me off. It's not worth getting on the wrong side of the management though - they won't change.

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UftonGreenStables · 31/10/2021 12:49

No one wants to have to deal with Strangles on a yard, it can be awful or life threatening for some horses and is expensive and stressful to contain/eradicate, including for owners of horses who haven't actually got it.

My stance on sharing transport is an assessment of risk, if the other yard that the horse is from is fairly well contained, in the local area and we haven't had any outbreaks in the area then I would hope both owners would be sensible, try and avoid letting the horses touch noses in the trailer and not to share water buckets. There is still a risk to this however and that could be something the YO is not prepared to tolerate.

It sounds like they may have had an issue in the past and are working very hard to make sure it never happens again. We had a horse here that never went anywhere, had a bit of a snotty nose and as a precaution vet did a test, it came back with a low 0.3. We all went on lockdown for two weeks, temperature checked every horse on the yard twice a day whilst we waited to see if it was a rising figure (it wasn't).

On the more positive side it meant that we were all prepared for Covid measures during lockdown as we pretty much treated ourselves as potential Strangles spreaders!

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