• Christine Keate

Who wants to help raise awareness about Strangles?

After its great success in reaching more than 2 million people across the world this year, Strangles Awareness Week will return in 2022. Over 180 Ambassadors, including equestrians, livery yards, riding centres, vet practices and equine professionals, signed up to share messages through social media during the week, which ran from 3rd to 9th May 2021, with the aim of raising horse owners' awareness of the world’s most-commonly diagnosed infectious equine disease.

For the first time, international equine and veterinary organisations including from Sweden, The Netherlands and Australia supported the week, which reached more than 310,000 people online, while a further 2.5 million readers received the messages through articles in worldwide equine and veterinary publications.

Organisers are already encouraging even more people to become Ambassadors ready for next year’s campaign, which will take place from 2nd to 8th May 2022. Everyone who signs up will join a mailing list to receive exclusive Strangles Awareness Week content for their social media channels, as well as guidance on how to share their own experiences of the disease and to encourage others to speak up too.

Strangles Awareness Week began in 2020 and is a unique collaborative effort between The British Horse Society, Intervacc, Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Scotland’s Rural College’s Premium Assured Strangles Scheme (PASS), Surveillance of Equine Strangles (SES) and World Horse Welfare, who have brought together their decades’ worth of expertise of either caring for horses with Strangles, supporting those coping with outbreaks or, research into the disease.

Andie McPherson, Redwings’ Campaigns Manager, said: “This year we saw almost three times as many Ambassadors taking part in Strangles Awareness Week – from livery yard managers to vets, from farriers to professional equestrians. It shows that Strangles affects all corners of the equine community and how we can all lend our voices to help raise better awareness.

“One in three Ambassadors from this year’s campaign also commented that they had never or rarely posted about Strangles on their social media pages prior to the Week so it gave them a platform to proactively raise the topic with their followers and clients and start constructive conversations around the disease’s prevention and management.”

It is hoped that next year’s Strangles Awareness Week, if Covid-19 restrictions continue to be lifted, will provide an opportunity for livery yards, equine education facilities and vet practices to host events such as client evenings, talks and demonstrations, as well as raising awareness online. Ambassadors will be supported with activity suggestions, editable presentations and promotional materials to help them advertise their events, with more details to be released nearer the time.

Anyone wishing to sign-up as an Ambassador for Strangles Awareness Week 2022 and be kept up-to-date with the latest news from the campaign can email campaigns@redwings.co.uk.

Scoping for strangles


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