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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • epidemiology;
  • population;
  • passport;
  • National Equine Database;
  • demography;
  • locating horses;
  • Great Britain

Summary

Detailed knowledge of horse populations can better facilitate effective control of equine diseases. Preliminary studies were undertaken to ascertain the type of information held on the UK's National Equine Database (NED) and to determine the geographical resolution at which mandatorily recorded owner addresses might be a suitable proxy for predicting horse locations. Results indicated that relatively few UK passport-issuing organisations requested details of where horses were kept in addition to owner address details. Examination of data on 1440 horses held on an Animal Health Trust syndromic surveillance database showed that 90% of them were kept within 10 km of their owners. While owner location may provide an indication of where most horses are kept, further work is also needed to evaluate the usefulness of NED as an epidemiological resource in future equine disease control measures.