A group of veterinary practices from around Angus, Perthshire, Fife and the Central Belt have released a joint statement about equine care.
Although several veterinary associations have offered guidance that vets can resume routine procedures on a case-by-case basis, the practices have clarified that they will not be resuming some routine equine procedures as they feel doing so would go against government advice around essential journeys and minimising the risk of injury.
The statement was signed by Blairgowrie Vets, Cameron & Greig, Cheviot Vets, Eden Veterinary Practice, Equitait, Forth Valley Vets, Galedin Equine Vets, Heartland Vets, Kidd Veterinary Centre, Loch Leven Equine Practice, Parkside Equine, Tay Valley Equine, and Thrums Veterinary Group.
The statement in full reads:
“Both the Scottish and UK Government reinforced this week how vital it is that people continue to stay at home to save lives. We have not yet reached the peak of this virus and lockdown measures are likely to continue for many more weeks.
“On 9th April we received updated guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the British Equine Veterinary Association that certain routine procedures such as vaccinations could resume if risk-assessed on an individual case by case basis.
“After discussion with our neighbouring practices across Scotland we all believe that this guidance does not reflect the current advice from the Government. We also believe that as a veterinary profession we have a responsibility to preserve human life, to protect our clients and their families, our team and those of you in the vulnerable and high risk category.
“We understand how frustrating this is for our clients particularly those of you who have vaccinations due imminently and want to reassure you that the risk of another equine influenza outbreak is very low given that horses and people are not moving around. Your horse’s welfare is incredibly important to us all. We are still providing visits and care to urgent and emergency cases and are able to offer remote consults and prescriptions through telemedicine services.
“We would like to thank our fellow practices for their support in making this decision. We plan to collectively review the situation in two weeks and will base any further decisions on the advice from the Scottish and UK Government.”
You can contact your vet if you need to discuss your horse’s care during the lockdown.