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Vet Ital. 2008 Jan-Mar;44(1):149-63.

Veterinary management of horse transport.

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Clinical Pathology, Irish Equine Centre, Johnstown, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland.


Enormous numbers of horses are transported locally, nationally and internationally every year. National legislation and international guidelines set standards for the health and welfare of animals during transport. As a consequence, equine clinicians have major responsibilities in safeguarding the horse industry against the spread of disease and in being aware of the problems inherent in horse transport. The authors explore road, sea and air transport and their effect on horses. Various types of road transport are available and there are various sources of impact on horses. These include loading, the effect of confinement and isolation, restraint within vehicles, motion of vehicles, environmental challenges within vehicles, food and water intake, body posture during transport and orientation within the vehicle. Air transport has prominence and an account is given of the special management required for horses during air transport over long distances. Finally, the effects of transport on illness and performance are outlined. Shipping fever is discussed.

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