First National Equine Biosurveillance Program of its Kind Launched across Canada!

Guelph, ON June 12, 2019 - Equine Guelph’s education part- ner, Merck Animal Health, recently launched its national Equine Biosurveillance Pilot Program to fill an unmet need in Canada. Although there are some initiatives at provincial levels, there was currently no nationwide equine biosurveil- lance program in the country, until now! In event of an outbreak of common equine respiratory

diseases, this program is designed to support equine clinics with the diagnosis. It will also enable collection of informa- tion at the national level on the epidemiology of the main equine respiratory pathogens. This information can then be communicated to the horse industry to promote a better knowledge and understanding of the ever-evolving nature and dynamics of those pathogens. ‘’At Merck Animal Health, we are both very excited

and proud about this new and unique initiative which will not only benefit participating clinics but the whole equine indus- try,” says Dr. Serge Denis DVM, Equine Consultant for Merck Animal Health. “By sharing the information collected through the program, we hope to contribute to a better knowl- edge and understanding of the epidemiology of the main equine respiratory diseases by the various stakeholders be it veterinarians, horse owners, barn managers or trainers.’’ In the initial phase, Merck’s Equine Biosurveillance

Program will be offered to a limited number of equine clinics. Future plans include rolling it out to a significant number of practitioners.

Pathogens tested through the program: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is available

for: Equine Herpesvirus types 1 & 4, Equine Influenza Virus, Equine Rhinitis A and B Viruses, and Streptococcus equi subsp. equi. Participating clinics are provided with a diagnostic kit

containing all necessary material to collect and submit sam- ples to the Diagnostic Service of the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire in St-Hyacinthe, University of Montreal. There is no cost for participating clinics. All costs of

the program are covered by Merck Animal Health. Veterinar- ians interested in this initiative can contact their local Merck representative. ‘’This innovative program is a powerful addition to our

unique value offering and reflects Merck Animal Health’s commitment to support the Canadian equine industry through science-based products and services,’’ says Douglas Wong, Product Manager, Farm Animal Business Unit with Merck Animal Health. Equine Guelph supports this national program as it

aims to benefit overall welfare of horses in Canada. “The pos- sibilities for developing best vaccination strategies through information gathered in this biosurveillance program are quite exciting,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. “We encourage all horse owners to learn more about the im-

Surveillance Call Please note that the Equestrian Canada (EC)

Canada National Equine Disease & Welfare

July Equestrian Cancellation:

National Equine Disease & Welfare Surveillance Call scheduled for July 10, 2019, has been cancelled. The next call will be held on Aug. 14, 2019, at 12 p.m. EST. For the complete schedule of 2019 EC Na-

tional Equine Disease & Welfare Surveillance Calls, click here. Visit ease for a full list of all previous recordings.

Questions? Suggestions? Questions or topic suggestions regarding the EC Na- tional Equine Disease & Welfare Surveillance Calls can be directed to:

Kristy House Manager, Welfare & Identification 1-866-282-8395 x 130

portance of vaccinating by visiting our vaccination resource at tool.”

Should you have any questions or concerns about the health of your horse, please speak to your equine veterinarian.

About Equine Guelph: Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’ Cen-

tre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partner- ship dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit

Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

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