Introducing new horses to existing herds


March 2016

Bransby Horses, the rescue and welfare charity is at the forefront of horse worm control.  Bransby Horses ensures that, whenever possible, testing is carried out before it resorts to the use drugs.  This avoids the unnecessary dosing of animals and also helps to prevent resistance to drugs developing in the future.

At the end of 2014, Bransby Horses carried out a small independent evaluation of EquiSal Tapeworm saliva testing, comparing it with conventional blood testing.  The results were very encouraging and Jeremy Kemp-Symonds, the veterinary consultant at Bransby Horses, stated “We were delighted with the results, finding that the EquiSal kits were easy to use and popular with the staff.  The results delivered good accuracy and were comparable with those from the blood tests that we had been using previously.”

Throughout 2015, saliva samples from horses and ponies arriving at Bransby Horses’ quarantine unit were sent for testing. Bransby Horses operate a strict quarantine procedure for new horses to ensure worm burdens and diseases are not spread to existing herds. EquiSal Tapeworm testing diagnosed 33% of the intake with a tapeworm burden requiring treatment, which is higher than the national average of 25%. However, when all the horses within the Bransby Horses’ herds were tested during Autumn 2015, only 16% required treatment, with only 10% diagnosed with a moderate/high burden diagnosis.

Dr Corrine Austin, director of Austin Davis Biologics, commented “This is a fantastic result for Bransby Horses, which suggests that saliva testing and targeted treatment of tapeworm burdens as part of the quarantine procedure, is effective at reducing the risk of infection to their existing herds.”

Jeremy added that “EquiSal has become an integral part of Bransby’s strategy to control tapeworm both in the quarantine unit and in the herds at our Lincolnshire site.  Given this success, we are looking forward to implementing the use of Equisal at our Herefordshire site in April and can recommend the product wholeheartedly to other horse owners who also want to achieve targeted control of tapeworm”.

Results data