Strangles Awareness Week will return in 2022 after this year’s campaign reached more than two million people across the world.
Over 180 Ambassadors, including equestrians, livery yards, riding centres, vet practices and equine professionals, signed up to share messages through social media during the Week, which ran from 3rd to 9th May 2021, with the aim of raising awareness amongst horse owners of the world’s most commonly diagnosed infectious equine disease.
For the first time, international equine and veterinary organisations, including Sweden’s National Veterinary Institute and its 20 member organisations, the Royal GD and MSD Animal Health in the Netherlands, and the University of Melbourne and the Equine Veterinarian membership body in Australia also supported the Week.
In all, more than 310,000 people were reached online, while a further 2.5 million readers received the Week’s messages through articles in worldwide equine and veterinary publications.
Organisers are now encouraging even more people from across the equine community to show their interest in becoming Ambassadors ready for next year’s campaign, which will take place from 2nd to 8th May 2022.
Ambassadors will join a mailing list to receive exclusive Strangles Awareness Week content for their social media channels, as well as guidance on how to share their own experiences of the disease and encourage others to speak up too.
Strangles Awareness Week began in 2020 and is a unique collaborative effort between The British Horse Society, Intervacc, Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Scotland’s Rural College’s Premium Assured Strangles Scheme (PASS), Surveillance of Equine Strangles (SES) and World Horse Welfare, who have brought together their decades’ worth of expertise of either caring for horses with Strangles, supporting those coping with outbreaks or research into the disease.
Andie McPherson, Redwings’ Campaigns Manager, said: “This year we saw almost three times as many Ambassadors taking part in Strangles Awareness Week – from livery yard managers to vets, from farriers to professional equestrians. It shows that Strangles affects all corners of the equine community and how we can all lend our voices to help raise better awareness.
“One in three Ambassadors from this year’s campaign also commented that they had never or rarely posted about Strangles on their social media pages prior to the Week so it gave them a platform to proactively raise the topic with their followers and clients and start constructive conversations around the disease’s prevention and management.”
It is hoped that next year’s Strangles Awareness Week, if Covid-19 restrictions continue to be lifted, will provide an opportunity for livery yards, equine education facilities and vet practices to host events, such as client evenings, talks and demonstrations, as well as raise awareness online. Ambassadors will be supported with activity suggestions, editable presentations and promotional materials to help them advertise their events, with more details to be released nearer the time.
Anyone wishing to sign-up as an Ambassador for Strangles Awareness Week 2022 and be kept up-to-date with the latest news from the campaign can email firstname.lastname@example.org.