THE U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has released a report summarizing responses to its needs assessment survey for the upcoming "Equine 2015" study.
Prior to each national study, NAHMS conducts a needs assessment to determine an industry's critical information gaps and uses this information and information from other sources to set study objectives.
The needs assessment questionnaire for the "Equine 2015" study sought opinions about top-priority information needs and participation incentives for the study.
Survey respondents included 2,435 horse owners and other individuals associated with the equine industry and 89 leaders of several selected groups with an equine health role, NAHMS said. The report separates and compares responses between the individuals and the group leaders; needs assessment priorities for the NAHMS 1998 and 2015 studies are also compared.
The needs assessment questionnaire for "Equine 2015" prompted both individuals and group leaders to list their top priorities for several topics related to the U.S. equine industry, including:
* Management issues;
* Body system problems;
* Infectious diseases, and
* Incentives to encourage participation in the study.
In addition to responses from the needs assessment questionnaire, NAHMS will establish study objectives by reviewing existing scientific literature, discussing priorities at industry and scientific meetings and gathering input from within USDA.
Objectives for "Equine 2015" will be available this summer.
General, on-farm data collection will begin in the summer of 2015 and will continue into fall, during which more detailed data collection and biologic sampling will be conducted.
The "Equine 2015" needs assessment report can be viewed by clicking on the Equine section at www.aphis.usda.gov/nahms.