West Linton livery first in new scheme

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A WEST Linton yard has become the first in the UK to be accredited under a new strangles health scheme by Scotland Rural College (SRUC).

Karecole Livery and their owners has tested the 40 horses in their stables to take part in the new scheme to protect animals and yards from the contagious disease.

The yard’s Kerry Abernethy said: “Our clients were all keen to know where they stood with regards to strangles eradication.

“The results produced facts which could then be dealt with, if required, with no finger-pointing or rumours. They are happy there is now a policy in place to monitor any new horses coming on to the yard which helps reduce the risk of infection and builds trust.”

The Premium Assured Strangles Scheme (PASS) was launched earlier this year by SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services, part of SRUC, with the support of the British Horse Society.

Caused by bacteria, strangles affects the lymph glands around the throat and can be caught from direct horse-to-horse contact, contaminated water or equipment and from human hands or clothing.

But it is treatable with a good recovery rate, particularly if it is caught early, said SAC Consulting.

To be in, PASS yards must blood test their horses annually and treat animals found to be carrying the disease.

Scheme members will also follow biosecurity guidelines to reduce further risk.