A BAN has been imposed on horse movements to and from Newton Abbot’s Mare and Foal Sanctuary after an outbreak of an equine disease.
The quarantine is operating at the charity’s Honeysuckle Farm centre after cases of the respiratory disease Strangles were confirmed.
The restriction also effects the operation’s other centre at Upcott Park near Holsworthy.
Managing director Syra Bowden said: ‘Working with rescue horses means we have to be realistic and know that we will see Strangles again and again.
‘Our priority is to treat the horses currently at risk and minimise potential for disease spread.’
She added: ‘We see horses with all kinds of veterinary conditions, and each new horse that comes in to our care receives a thorough veterinary evaluation, part of which is to be screened for contagious diseases whilst undergoing a period of quarantine.
‘As a result of identifying Strangles we have implemented further strict biosecurity measures developed alongside our vet, which we have every confidence in.’
She confirmed: ‘Due to having Strangles at Honeysuckle Farm and Upcott Park, there will be no horses arriving or leaving the two sites until disease-free status has been confirmed by our vet.
‘All our other sites remain unaffected, including the Visitor and Events Centre at Coombe Park which is open for business as usual.
‘As a reputable welfare charity we have a responsibility to be transparent and accountable regarding our quarantine measures, and to lead by example in educating others with regard to disease containment and control. We encourage anyone affected to speak out about Strangles.
‘It is the most commonly diagnosed equine infectious disease in the world and can affect any horse and any owner. We’re speaking out and we would like to thank everyone for their support.’