AMTRA says more should be done to highlight the benefits of a more strategic approach to equine worming and has called for horse owners to seek specialist advice about the importance of testing.
The regulatory body said it will be doing more to support SQPs in their role, highlighting to horse owners the importance of speaking to their SQP for expert guidance, and providing individuals with additional resources to support them in delivering practical advice.
“While there are undoubtedly increased levels of awareness, too many horse owners are approaching worming incorrectly,” said AMTRA secretary general Stephen Dawson.
“Many are blanket dosing without knowing which worms they’re targeting, whether it is even necessary to worm, or if the treatment has been effective, so we are taking a closer look at the worming process, assisting SQPs to explain more thoroughly how the process works, and encouraging better practice all round.”
Mr Dawson said the equine SQP’s role is to support horse owners and yard managers in putting together and carrying out a parasite control plan, yet many horse owners still see worming as one-off transaction, rather than a long-term strategy which takes the bigger picture into consideration, such as the age and health status of the horse.
“SQPs are qualified professionals who are passionate about horse health. Their advice and knowledge is valuable and accessible – it’s also free!” said Mr Dawson.
“They are there to work with horse owner’.”
AMTRA is one of many industry bodies, alongside vets, SQPs, charities, policy makers, retailers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and others, that make up the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) working group named ‘CANTER’ (Controlling ANTiparasitic resistance in Equines Responsibly).
In a meeting led by Clare Stratford, head of the efficacy team and anthelmintic policy lead at the VMD, the group’s first gathering under its new title took place in August.
The CANTER group will discuss and develop a strategy and a pan-industry approach to tackling the problem, with strong support from AMTRA, Mr Dawson said.