Thoroughbred R&D Levy Proposal

A Discussion Paper
 

  

7. Current Horse Program Objectives, Priorities & Goals:
 

The current Horse R,D&E Plan 2011-2016 identifies five Objectives:

  

  1. Reduce the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites in horses.

  2. Reduce injury and breakdown of horses in work and training.

  3. Improve breeding outcomes and foal health and development.

  4. Improve the safety of industry participants and the welfare of horses, and enhance the environmental sustainability of the industry.

  5. Promote education and training for the horse industry through opportunities for training researchers and by effective communication of RD&E to horse industry stakeholders.
      

Research in Progress 2011-2012: 

Horse and Hendra RIRDC Completed Projects 2011–12 and Research in Progress at June 2012 contains short summaries of projects funded by the Program. RIRDC is also the managing agent for a number of projects funded under the National Hendra Virus Research Program.

 
The Horse Program aims for the horse industry to be nationally and internationally recognised for its excellence as a reputable user and supplier of quality horses, products and services, and for the industry to expand in the global market by having the requisite skills and knowledge for efficient, profitable and sustainable production. (RIRDC publication No. 12-092) 6

The following are a few examples of previous work undertaken within each of the five Objectives in the current Horse R,D&E Plan:
 

 

Objective 1:
 

Reduce the incidence and impact of diseases & parasites in horses
 

This Objective has three Priority areas:
   

  • Diseases of horses that impact horse health or performance.

  • Diseases of horses that impact human health.

  • Parasite resistance & parasite related conditions.
       

With the following project examples:
 

PRJ-004314: - The 2007 Equine Influenza Outbreak:
 

The 2007 outbreak of equine influenza caused substantial hardships to the horse industry as the disease spread to large geographic areas infecting over 70 000 horses on around 9 000 premises in Australia.
 

The disease was eradicated within five months by an extensive disease control program implemented by the State and Federal animal health authorities.
 
This report presents the results of investigations on the mechanisms of disease spread, the role of meteorological factors and biosecurity practices in facilitating/halting the spread and the perceptions of horse owners/managers about effectiveness of biosecurity practices and about management of the disease. (RIRDC publication No. 12-121).

 

Further research in progress for this objective includes:
 

PRJ-003891: Respiratory disease and biomarkers in the foal: (Research Project Details) 
PRJ 006539: What role does rotavirus play in equine diarrhea in Australian horses? (Research Project Details) 
PRJ 004862: An adenoviral vector vaccine against Rhodococcus equi: (Research Project Details) 
PRJ 003758: Virus and horse specific risk factors for EHVI neurological disease. (Research Project Details) 
 

 

Objective 2:
 

Reduce injury & breakdown in horses at work and training This Objective has two Priority areas:

  

  • Conditions with serious impacts on horse health or performance.

  • Improved methods for measurement of forces operating on musculoskeletal structures.

  
With the following project examples:

 
PRJ-005090: Bone repair in thoroughbred racehorses: effects of training and rest: (Research Project Details) 12
PRJ-005116: Developing training programs to prevent injury in young racehorses: (Research Project Details) 13
PRJ-003651: Finite element analysis modelling of third metacarpal bone invivo stresses: (Research Project Details) 14
 

 

Objective 3:
 

Improved breeding outcomes and foal health & development 

 

This Objective has one Priority area:

  

  • Conditions that have serious adverse impacts at horse and population levels.
      

With the following 2 project examples:
  

PRJ-000769 - Treatment of placentitis in Thoroughbred mares: efficacy of altrenogest: 

Placentitis is a significant cause of preterm labour in mares and results in premature delivery of dead or weak, severely compromised foals that require expensive intensive care to survive. As a result of this project, mares with a high probability of a poor pregnancy outcome can now be reliably identified and rational cost effective treatment choices can be made. (RIRDC publication No. 11-2011).
 

 
Objective 4:

 
Improve the safety of industry participants & the welfare of horses, and enhance the environmental sustainability of the industry

 
This Objective has one Priority area:

  

  • Priority conditions or events that impact health, welfare or the environment.
      

With the following project example:

 
PRJ-000094 - Using Alfaxalone as an anaesthetic in horses: potential for improved safety for horses and handlers: Anaesthesia in horses is inherently risky because of their anatomical and physiological makeup. In addition, horses by nature tend to panic if frightened, leading to injuries.

 
Deaths an esthesia for routine procedures are more common than in other domestic animals. The most common causes are cardiopulmonary disturbances and injuries sustained in induction of and recovery from anaesthesia. Thus research continues into the development of new drugs and regimens aimed at improving outcomes.
 

In this RIRDC project, a new formulation of the steroidal anaesthetic drug alfaxalone was investigated in horses, both neonatal foals and adult horses.
(RIRDC publication No. 11-108).
 

 

Objective 5:

 
Promote education and training for the horse industry through opportunities for training researchers and by effective communication of RD&E to horse industry stakeholders.
 

This Objective has three Priority areas:

  

  • Dissemination and application/uptake of R&D outputs.

  • Encourage involvement of individuals and organisations in RD&E.

  • Improve long term security of RD&E funding for the Horse Program.
      

With the following project example:

 
PRJ-005342 - Production, publication and distribution of Equine Research News:

 
Promoting education and training for the horse industry through opportunities for training researchers and by effective communication of RD&E to horse industry stakeholders.
 
RIRDC Equine Research News includes topical articles and summaries on current research. This publication is available as a free subscription either in print or electronic formats - to subscribe:
 

Further information on the current RIRDC Horse R,D&E Program can be found on the RIRDC website.
 
Q4: Do you have any comments on the current R,D&E objectives, priorities and goals?
 

Please refer to Attachment 2: Thoroughbred Levy Feedback Form, where you are able to record your responses to the questions raised in this discussion paper.
    
      

 

  

Included with this discussion paper are: