Redwings is one of the UK equestrian charities playing a major part of a major campaign to promote better management of parasitic worms in equines.
The CANTER (Controlling ANTiparasitic resistance in Equines Responsibly) campaign was launched in March 2023 to raise awareness of growing resistance among the most common worms to drugs that are used to control them. To slow the rate at which resistance is spreading among worm populations, it is vital that all owners use a routine test to check the worm level in individual horses and only use drugs when they are really needed.
CANTER is a new pan-industry group to provide collaborative expertise to address the problem of anti-parasitic resistance in equines. The team spearheading the campaign include Claire Williams of BETA, David Rendle of the BEVA, Professor Jacqui Matthews of Austin Davis Biologics, and Doctor Claire Stafford of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
CANTER states that “Just like antibiotics our worming chemicals are becoming less effective every time we use them. Most equestrian centres in the UK will have some level of wormer resistance. This means we can no longer give a treatment and just expect it to work.”
“Wormer resistance will lead to disease and death in our horses caused by untreatable parasite burdens. It could impact our ability to keep horses in these locations and all this will happen sooner than we think unless we can take action now.”
Research suggests that taking this approach can reduce the use of deworming drugs by around 80%. The CANTER campaign also promotes the importance of managing horses in ways that support effective worm control. Steps include clearing muck from paddocks at least twice a week and testing new horses for worms before they are turned out to graze with other equine companions.
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