Equine Disease Communication Center awarded federal grant to increase biosecurity awareness, mitigate spread of infectious disease
The funding will help further the EDCC's efforts to provide real-time disease information and vital equine biosecurity communication.
The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) working with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has been awarded a cooperative agreement from USDA-APHIS National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) for $176,960. According to an organizational release, the federal grant is for increasing awareness of biosecurity and helping prevent the spread of infectious diseases in horses.
The EDCC says it will utilize NADPRP funding to develop tools to “improve disease recognition and practical biosecurity while communicating the importance of biosecurity to all horse industry constituents.” One of the projects the EDCC says it will work toward is creating user-friendly biosecurity information and procedures for distribution throughout the horse community. The EDCC also plans to provide ongoing sources of continuing education for distribution by veterinarians to their clients. In addition, the organization will work to assess the industry’s current level of equine biosecurity knowledge via a survey of horse owners and veterinarians.
“Dealing with COVID-19 has highlighted the need for biosecurity procedures to reduce risk of infection; however, most horse owners are still not fully aware of the threat to their horses from both endemic and foreign animal diseases either at home or when traveling,” said Nathaniel A. White II, DVM, MS, DACVS, EDCC director.
“We need to understand the gaps in biosecurity knowledge. Armed with that information, we will create specific plans for facilities and events, enabling the industry to react to domestic and foreign disease threats,” he continued.
The EDCC says its goal is for all facets of the horse industry (owners, producers, veterinarians, and allied industry) to benefit from the continuing education information and biosecurity templates created during this project. White and Katie McDaniel, EDCC’s communication manager, will work with the AAEP’s Infectious Disease Committee to create “how-to” plans and resources that will be available on the EDCC website. These tools will help owners and veterinarians decrease disease risks during horse shows, events, race meets, breeding operations, pleasure horse activities, and travel. Infographic designs for signage, visual aids, and presentations will be made available through the EDCC, supporting member organizations and allied companies.
“This is the first NADPRP grant awarded for an equine-focused project,” said Katie Flynn, DVM, and Kentucky State Veterinarian. “This is exciting news for the equine industry as the funding will dedicate resources to advancing biosecurity within the equine community. Promoting everyday biosecurity will have significant benefit to the health and welfare of our horses as well as ensuring the economic health of the industry.”
EDCC receives federal grant to promote biosecurity awareness, mitigate infectious disease spread. News release. Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC). February 23, 2022. Accessed March 1, 2022. https://equinediseasecc.org/news/article/127