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Sanctuary declared Strangles Free!

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary has finally been given the all clear after an outbreak of strangles earlier this year meant they were temporarily unable to rescue any more horses. The last result arrived from the vets on November 27th, after the final test on Emerald; a one year old cob came back as negative for the disease.

Stables Staff


The outbreak was confirmed in April 2015 at their rehabilitation centre; Strangles is the most commonly diagnosed respiratory disease that affects equines and is a contagious infection in the nose and throat that can cause large abscesses, prevent swallowing and restrict breathing.

Each new horse that comes in to the Sanctuary’s care receives a thorough veterinary evaluation – part of which is to be screened for contagious diseases. Upon detection the Sanctuary closed the site immediately with no horses arriving or leaving until the all clear was declared. This has meant that the Sanctuary has not been able to admit any new rescue cases, a sad but necessary precaution.

During the outbreak, the Sanctuary did everything they could to protect their horses and the wider equine community. Sadly even with dedicated staff working tirelessly they have had to cope with losing 4 of their beloved animals and it’s been a heartbreaking time for all, but there has been tremendous support and they have received thousands of messages of hope and good will to get them through the tough times.

Equine Manager Sally Burton said, “It’s such a relief to be able to open the yard again and get back to normal routine. We’ve got lots of horses here at Honeysuckle farm who are ready to move on to other yards for further training, or are ready for rehoming so it’s great for them to finally be able to do this. With the yard re-opened we can now continue our vital work rescuing and rehabilitating horses who are very much in need of our help.”

“During the outbreak we worked closely with our vets to educate the public in how to spot the signs of the disease and how to contain it, arranging public talks and providing advice. “

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary would like to thank everyone for their support, help and guidance over this time, including all the veterinary staff at St. David’s Equine Practice and everyone who sent in a message of support or financial contribution towards the huge costs associated with dealing with an outbreak such as this.

Sally Burton “This is a really positive step for us. Having the quarantine restrictions lifted means it’s great news for many of our ponies and horses who are now able to be rehomed. We can now concentrate on finding them their forever homes, and continue to rescue more that desperately need our help.”