New Initiative CANTER Tackles Equine Parasite Resistance in UK

CANTER (Controlling ANTiparasitic resistance in Equines Responsibly), the new pan-industry equine group and the first of its kind worldwide for equines, has officially launched.

Termed CANTER to communicate the urgency of its crusade, the group works in the interest of the UK equine industry to lead the much-needed coordinated approach to antiparasitic use and stewardship to tackle resistance in equine internal parasites.

CANTER brings together voluntary representation from across the equine industry. This includes leading experts in the field including prescribers (vets, SQPs and pharmacists), diagnostic providers, pharmaceutical companies, trade organisations, technical experts, horse owners, charities, and policy makers. All recognise the critical health, welfare and husbandry consequences of antiparasitic resistance and the need for industry-wide action to slow the development of resistance and maintain the efficacy of our current anthelmintics.

Dr Claire Stratford

Dr Claire Stratford, Principal Veterinary Advisor at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and Chair of the CANTER Core Steering Group, introduced CANTER at the National Equine Forum, on the 2 March 2023, London. Picture courtesy of the National Equine Forum and Craig Payne Photography.

Dr Claire Stratford said,

We’ve come so far in a short time and that’s down to the passion that so many people have brought to this project. It’s really exciting to be working with experts and key opinion leaders to make progress on this serious issue. I hope that CANTER will raise awareness and stimulate action across the equine community towards sustainable parasite control. Our aim is for CANTER to become the trusted source of information for prescribers and horse owners and to facilitate informed discussion about this important aspect of horse health.

CANTER core steering group members, Claire Stratford, Claire Shand from Westgate Labs, and Claire Williams from the British Equestrian Trade Association officially launched CANTER on the Skills Stage at The National Equine Show, on the 4 March 2023, Birmingham.

Canter Representatives

Pan-industry representatives gather for the launch of CANTER.

Claire Williams said,

Anthelmintic resistance is the biggest threat to horse health but one of the few that we have the ability to counter through our own actions. This will only be achieved through working as one to change influence across the sector and the entire supply chain from end users to prescribers. It’s my hope that CANTER will light the way for the equestrian community to take collective responsibility for this issue.

Claire Shand said,

There has historically been a lot of mixed messaging in this area so to have all these specialists around the table to come together under the CANTER banner for the good of the horse is a giant step forward.

As part of CANTER’s campaign call to action, they called for horse owners to assess parasite risk with their prescriber, test first to target treatment and poo pick paddocks, all to reduce exposure to wormers and the development of resistance.


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