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Calculator to gauge horses’ disease risks

The University of Guelph’s horse health centre plans to launch an online calculator program with which horse owners can pencil out the impact of their farm practices on their animals’ risk of infectious disease.

Equine Guelph, in a notice on its website, said it plans to unveil what it calls the equine biosecurity risk calculator at the Ontario Equestrian Federation’s annual conference, to be held Nov. 28-30 at the Delta Meadowvale Resort in Mississauga.

Good biosecurity, the centre said, involves management practices that reduce the chances of other animals or people carrying infectious diseases onto your farm, and reduce the spread of infectious diseases when or if they arrive.

The calculator, it said, will consider factors that increase the risk of spreading infectious disease against factors that decrease that risk on an individual farm.

It will be available to the equine industry on Equine Guelph’s website and incorporated into the centre’s online equine science certificate and diploma programs.

The calculator, it said, will “assist horse owners and caregivers to assess and possibly improve conditions on their farm for health and well-being of both them and their horses.”

Animal health company Vetoquinol Canada is supporting the program, the company said in Equine Guelph’s notice.

“Implementation of a biosecurity protocol is important to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease on any horse farm,” said Caroline Desforges, the company’s equine product manager, in the centre’s notice. “An ounce of disease prevention is worth a pound of managing an infectious outbreak.”

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