Mare and foal Medioimages/Photodisc

USDA releases first report from 2015 equine study

Study was conducted in 2015 in 28 states, representing more than 70% of equines in U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) released the first report from its "Equine 2015" study, "Baseline Reference of Equine Health & Management in the United States, 2015."

The "Equine 2015" study is NAHMS’s third national study of the U.S. equine industry. As with the NAHMS 1998 and 2005 equine studies, the 2015 study was designed to provide participants, the industry and animal health officials with information on the nation’s equine population. This information will serve as a basis for education, service and research while providing the industry with new and valuable information regarding trends in the industry for 1998, 2005 and 2015.

"Equine 2015" was conducted in 28 states that were chosen for study participation based, in part, on the size or density of the states’ equine populations. Data collected for the study represented 71.6% of equids and 70.9% of U.S. operations with five or more equids.

NAHMS provided a few highlights from the baseline report, including:

* Approximately nine of 10 operations (88.9%) had 19 or fewer resident equids on May 1, 2015. These operations accounted for 58.1% of resident equids in the U.S. Resident equids were defined as equids that spent more time at one operation than at any other operation.

* The majority of operations (70.7%) used a private veterinarian as their primary information source regarding equine health care.

* Operators on 38.8% of operations were knowledgeable about equine infectious anemia (EIA), while 18.2% recognized the name but not much else, and 7.7% said they had not heard of EIA before.

* Overall, 47.1% of operations performed at least one EIA test on resident equids in the previous 12 months, and 36.8% of resident equids had at least one EIA test in the previous 12 months.

* For all operations, the average cost of an EIA test (including the call fee or cost of transportation) was $40.77 and ranged from $39.34 in the South Central region to $46.39 in the West region.

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