Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s strangles research rides off to national award win

Photo: Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Photo: Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

There is no time to be horsing around when it comes to health and welfare, as Redwings Horse Sanctuary has proved – winning a national award.

The charity, with a centre in Roydon, was presented with the Health and Welfare Award at the Animal Health Trust’s UK Equestrian Award. The ceremony were held at The London Marriott Hotel, on the Tuesday evening.

While our herd is now disease free, the battle rages on to remove the shroud of shame associated with strangles

Lynn Cutress

Redwings was praised for its ‘Stamp out strangles’ campaign, aiming to increase awareness of strangles and its prevention by removing the stigma associated with the disease, encouraging effective biosecurity practices among horse owners. The charity said its ultimate goal was to eradicate the disease in the UK altogether.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ chief executive, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been recognised for our ‘Stamp out strangles’ campaign and wish to thank the Animal Health Trust for its support both during our outbreak and for our ongoing campaign work.”

In April 2016, Redwings launched a strangles survey, completed by over 2,000 horse owners, allowing the charity to assess attitudes to the disease and biosecurity practices, inspired by the charity’s own strangles outbreak a year earlier.

Lynn Cutress added: “Our own strangles outbreak affected every team in the charity and I am so proud of everyone for their unwavering dedication and support.

“At the time of our outbreak we felt that it was essential for us to speak out immediately and launch of our survey. While our herd is now disease free, the battle rages on to remove the shroud of shame associated with strangles.”

The survey’s findings, presented at this year’s National Equine Forum, revealed while there was a demand for improved biosecurity and investment in screening, misconceptions about how strangles contraction and its prevention were common.

Redwings say they are is continuing to share findings with the equine veterinary community.