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Equine Guelph Offers Biosecurity Workshops

Published: February 8, 2012 8:20 pm ET

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Equine Guelph is pleased to offer biosecurity workshops and an e-Session to promote measures horse owners can take to protect their horses from sporadic disease, outbreaks and infectious diseases.

“The recent devastating outbreak of EHV-1 in North America has highlighted the importance of infection control and biosecurity, as well as the deficiencies in knowledge and application that are present across the industry,” said Scott Weese, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph.

Proof-positive that the time for prevention has now arrived is the January 2012 biosecurity update from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs confirming cases of Equine Herpes in Southern Ontario.

Equine Guelph’s “Beat the Bugs with Biosecurity,” program promotes biosecurity throughout all sectors of the horse industry. The program is funded through the Agricultural Biosecurity Program (ABP), part of the Best Practices Suite of programs under Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario.

“Increasing knowledge of best biosecurity practices stands to benefit the horse industry by reducing the risk of disease transmission and, in turn, could create a huge positive economic impact and prevent a potential catastrophic outbreak,” said Gayle Ecker, Equine Guelph Director.

The “Beat the Bugs” program includes four workshops, conducted by biosecurity specialists, offered free of charge on a first come, first served basis. The workshops are scheduled as follows: Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, March 7, 1 – 3 p.m.; Western Fair, London (during Can-Am), March 16, 10 a.m. – 12 noon; Kemptville Campus, Kemptville, March 24, 2 – 4 p.m.; and Georgian Downs, Barrie, March 27, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Contact Susan Raymond at Equine Guelph, [email protected], to register and for more information.

For those who are looking to take their biosecurity knowledge to the next level, a two-week Equine Biosecurity e-Session is available April 16 – 29 for $75 (plus HST) per person. Contact Susan Raymond at Equine Guelph, [email protected], to register and for more information.

“Beat the Bugs” has been developed by Equine Guelph with the assistance of its 11 industry partners: American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Colorado State University, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, Ontario Veterinary College, Standardbred Canada, Vétoquinol Canada Inc. and Woodbine Entertainment Group.

For more information on the “Beat the Bugs with Biosecurity” initiative, and to view the Biosecurity Risk Calculator, click here.

(With files from Equine Guelph)

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