The establishment of an independent international expert group on the Prevention of Equine Infectious Diseases – PrEquID for short – was announced today. At the Seminar on Protecting against Equine Diseases in a Changing International Environment, held in June 2009 in Italy, participants had called for increased collaboration on an international level, including the harmonisation of diagnostic tests, advance planning for outbreaks – and the creation of an international equine disease prevention guidelines group.
This group has now come into being. Its members include highly respected equine infectious disease experts from eight countries and spanning four continents: Peter Timoney (University of Kentucky, USA), Paul Lunn (Colorado State University, USA), Ann Cullinane (Irish Equine Centre, Ireland), James Gilkerson (University of Melbourne, Australia), Alan Guthrie (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Klaus Osterrieder (University of Berlin, Germany), Richard Newton (Animal Health Trust, UK), Paul-Pierre Pastoret (World Organisation for Animal Health), under the chairmanship of Marian C. Horzinek.
“Our aim is to develop overarching international guidelines for the management of infectious diseases,” said Professor Horzinek. “These should contain practical, evidence-based recommendations for disease control and horse movement.”
Professor Peter Timoney noted, “the equine industry worldwide is facing an unprecedented threat from the challenge of infectious diseases. It’s a huge industry involving a complex range of stakeholders, including veterinarians, owners, breeders, trainers, shippers and regulators. We must set aside individual and national agendas and concentrate on the bigger picture if we’re to achieve greater international control over the spread of equine diseases and protect our industry for the future.”
“Our company is proud to be associated with this initiative, which will help to update and advise veterinary practitioners responsible for the health and welfare of horses worldwide,” commented Helen Barnes, Equine Business Manager of Fort Dodge Animal Health (now Pfizer Animal Health), sponsor of the PrEquID guidelines group.
The PrEquID group held its founding meeting in November 2009. In March 2010, it met again to discuss guidelines on Equine Influenza and Equine Herpesvirus infections, widely considered to be diseases with a significant impact on the horse industry, based on disease outcome, economic impact, veterinary care and travel restrictions. Practical, evidence-based recommendations are currently being finalised and will be made available shortly.
The Prevention of Equine Infectious Disease Guidelines Group is an independent international panel of veterinary experts, specialised in immunology, vaccinology and/or equine medicine. The PrEquID was set up to compile guidelines for the prevention and management of major equine infectious diseases based on current scientific knowledge and available vaccines.
Fort Dodge Animal Health (a division of Wyeth) initiated the establishment of PrEquID. With the recent  acquisition of Wyeth by Pfizer, this initiative is now supported by Pfizer Animal Health. Pfizer Animal Health is committed to supporting and serving the equine industry, and more specifically the ongoing activities of the Group.
For further information, please contact Karin de Lange DVM, PrEquID press officer, firstname.lastname@example.org