USDA To Launch New Equine Study This May

Posted: March 15, 2015

Equine 2015 will take an in-depth look at U.S. equine operations and provide the industry with new and valuable information regarding trends in the equine industry from 1998 to 2015.


  • As with NAHMS’ 1998 and 2005 equine studies, Equine 2015 was designed to provide participants, industry, and animal-health officials with information on the nation’s equine population that will serve as a basis for education, service, and research related to equine health and management, while providing the industry with new and valuable information regarding trends in the industry for 1998, 2005 and 2015.
  • For the study, NAHMS asked equine owners, industry stakeholders, and government officials to provide input and define the information needs of the equine industry. From this process, seven study objectives were identified:
    • Describe trends in equine care and health management for study years 1998, 2005, and 2015.
    • Estimate the occurrence of owner-reported lameness and describe practices associated with the management of lameness.
    • Describe health and management practices associated with important equine infectious diseases.
    • Describe animal health related costs of equine ownership.
    • Evaluate control practices for gastrointestinal parasites.
    • Evaluate equines for presence of ticks and describe tick-control practices used on equine operations.
    • Collect equine sera along with equine demographic information in order to create a serum bank for future studies.

Collection of Data

  • From May through July 2015, representatives from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact selected equine owners in 28 States.
  • NASS representatives will conduct personal interviews with all participating operations that have one or more equines (Horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, and other domestic equine species) and qualify as a farm, as defined by the 2012 Agricultural Census conducted by NASS (The current definition of a farm is a place that could or does actually sell $1,000 of agricultural products annually or that has five or more equids, other than commercial enterprises such as race tracks).
  • For operations that choose to continue to phase II of the study, representatives from USDA’s Veterinary Services will visit from summer to mid-December 2015 to administer a second questionnaire.
  • Respondents to this questionnaire may elect to participate in biologic sampling, including collection of blood and fecal samples, a tick exam, and collection of tick specimens.
  • “Past NAHMS equine studies have been used as an important resource for horse owners and all parts of the horse industry. NAHMS Equine 2015 will provide valuable information about disease prevalence and the impact disease has on horse health. This will help create awareness, improve horse husbandry to prevent disease, and focus research on the most important diseases affecting horses, including evaluating parasite and tick control.” —Nathaniel A. White II, DVM, MS Diplomate ACVS
    Professor Emeritus of Equine Surgery and Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center Past President of the American Association of Equine Practioners. 

Benefits of the Equine 2015 Study

  • NAHMS latest equine study will provide current and scientifically valid estimates of management practices, disease prevalence, and other information important for trade and the health of the equine industry (e.g., benchmarking). In addition, information will be provided on trends in the implementation of equine health management practices and the antibiotic susceptibility of selected enteric bacteria. Participants will receive the results of an on-site biosecurity assessment and some of the biologic sample testing.

A scientific approach

  • NAHMS collects and reports accurate and useful information on animal health and management in the United States. Since 1990, NAHMS has developed national estimates on disease prevalence and other factors related to the health of U.S. beef cattle, sheep, goat, dairy cattle, swine, equines, poultry, and catfish populations. The science-based results produced by NAHMS have proven to be of considerable value to the U.S. livestock, poultry, and aquaculture industries, as well as other animal health stakeholders.

Fact Sheet for Non-participants

Available from USDA - APHIS - Veterinary Services, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, March 2015

For more information:

NRRC Building B, M.S. 2E7
2150 Centre Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117

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