Detailed Report on Horse Health, Management Released

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When it comes to keeping track of horses' health information, about one in five breeding farms and boarding/training facilities are using a computerized method to track information.

The above detail is just one of the nuggets available in a new report from the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) that examines, for all breeds: horse health; veterinary treatments; and management practices.

The report is the third equine study since 1998 conducted by NAHMS, a non-regulatory division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Services. The study does not include horses in the racetrack environment. Instead it focuses on horses at farms and ranches, breeding farms, boarding and training stables, and riding stables.

As for use of computerized methods to record equine health information (found on pages 26-29 in the 180-page report), 19.3% of breeding farms and 21.1% of boarding/training stables use such records as their primary method. For both these types of operations, hand-written designated logs are the top choice with 36.2% of breeding farms and 28.5% of boarding/training stables relying on this method.

The report updates baseline health and management information and provides detailed information on vaccine use, parasite control, tick control, tick borne diseases, prevalence of owner-reported lameness, management of lameness, and the cost of animal health care. The study also examines the prevalence of Salmonella shedding, tick infestation, and identification of ticks.

"Baseline Reference of Equine Health and Management in the United States, 2015” is the first in a series of reports documenting results from the Equine 2015 study. This report focuses on general health and management practices and contains information on equine operations with five or more horses across 28 states. Still to come? The outcome of a biosecurity assessment of equine operations will be reported.

NTRA Calling for Industry Support

This column previously documented the progress of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to bring about industry favorable rule changes in how the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury determine thresholds for reporting and withholding of pari-mutuel winnings.

In late December the IRS and Treasury proposed regulations to bring about those favorable rule changes. The proposed regulations are currently up for comment and the NTRA is asking for industry support during this time of public comment.

"With horse racing's all-important Triple Crown season fast approaching, the NTRA urges Treasury and the Service to adopt the proposed regulations as final regulations as soon as it is administratively feasible," said NTRA president Alex Waldrop. "Horseplayers, tracks, and other industry stakeholders, including governments, are eager to begin reaping the benefits that will result from these updated withholding and reporting rules." To participate, click here.

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