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The British Horse Society is being inundated with calls from worried horse owners who have heard that horses would be slaughtered along with livestock on an farm infected with foot and mouth.

This is the information being given out by the MAFF helpline.

THIS IS NOT TRUE. Horses would NOT have to be slaughtered. They do not get the disease, and they cannot carry the disease in the medical sense, though they can transmit it via their hooves, just as humans on their boots or cars on their tyres.

The BHS want to reassure horse owners everywhere that horses on infected farms would not have to be slaughtered. This has been confirmed by Animal Health Officers at the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, they would probably have to be confined for several months.


The BHS has been advising horse owners since the middle of last week not to hack out on bridleways, common land, or moorland, and to stay away fromroads in rural areas. Although the movement order does not apply to horses, the BHS advise that horse owners should not transport their horses anywhere, and is asking those holding events to postpone them until the situation is more stable.

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