BEVA LAUNCHES COLOUR-CODE SCHEME AND DVEVC ARE INVITED TO BE PART OF THE PILOT SCHEME TO HELP TACKLE EQUINE OBESITY

With equine obesity on the increase the British Equine Vet Association has launched a pilot project to help equine owners recognise when their horses are overweight. The project users a traffic light colour system sticker that vets can implement by placing a coloured sticker in the horse passport when vaccination is due. Nine equine practises have been asked to pilot the scheme and DVEVC is one of the nine.

The objective is to remind the owner of when the next vaccination is, but with additional information about body condition.

A green sticker indicates a ‘healthy’ body condition and to maintain your regime. Amber means the horse is carrying too much fat tissue and needs moderate changes to diet, exercise, management, rugging and clipping regimes. All of which your vet can advise you on and Red implies that the horse is carrying excessive amounts of fat tissue that is placing your horse at risk of disease and shortening its life.

The sticker also provides a colour-specific QR code which you can use to access additional information via your smartphone in your own time. You can then discuss the various management options with your vet any time. Taking into account individual circumstances, you and your vet can come to a joint decision on what is the most suitable weight-loss programme for you and your horse. 

The BEVA invited nine equine veterinary practices to participate in the pilot scheme, including Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic in Suffolk. Practice Principal Helen Whitbread said: “Obesity is a welfare challenge and it is important that owners know about laminitis risk, as well as the many other detrimental health issues. Fat on the outside is matched by fat on the inside of the horse, around important organs such as the liver - people often don’t realise that.  I hope this scheme will direct owners to look at a reliable source on the BEVA website and digest the information in their own time and realise we are here, willing to help them.” 

The BEVA said the pilot will run for six months.