Ireland

Use of registered donkeys on the areas of natural constraint scheme in Ireland

Citation

Joseph A. Collins, Patrick Wall, Vivienne Duggan. June 2018. Use of registered donkeys on the areas of natural constraint scheme in Ireland. Vet Record.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
22 June 2018
Journal: 
Vet Record
DOI number: 
10.1136/vr.104355
Abstract

Data concerning the numbers, locations and types of donkeys being officially registered (passported) in Ireland (32 counties) via horse passport issuing organisations were gathered. The numbers of agricultural area aid scheme (Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC)) applicants registering passported donkeys (as compared with horses) as livestock units (LUs), the numbers of donkeys they registered and the value of payments that thus accrued to the applicants are also reported for each of 26 counties for the years 2012 to 2014 inclusive. Equids have not been eligible for equivalent agricultural schemes in the six counties of Northern Ireland. Horse Sport Ireland registration data shows that two-thirds of almost 8000 donkey passport applicants over a 10-year period came from counties Galway and Mayo and that only one-third of donkeys registered were male. As per ANC figures reported here for 2014, there were over 2500 donkeys registered as LUs on ANC, at a payment value to their keepers (in the 26 counties) of almost €1.6M. Future iterations of the ANC scheme are currently under review with regard to limiting donkey eligibility criteria, for example, to females and neutered males. The future monetary value of (some) donkeys could be adversely affected by restrictions in eligibility and by the uncertainty engendered by the prospect of change with the potential for unintended consequences.

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Efficacy of anthelmintics in horses and donkeys in Ireland: An in vivo and in vitro study

Citation
Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Friday 3 June 2016
Abstract

Strongyles are the most important parasite group infecting equids. Management of these parasites has relied on intensive use of anthelmintics, however, resistance has developed against all drug classes and is becoming a major practical problem in many countries. Resistance to the benzimidazole (BZ) group is geographically widespread and resistance to pyrental has also been reported. Today the macrocyclic lactones (ML) class of drugs has become the most commonly used drug, but evidence of emerging resistance (i.e. shortened egg reappearance period (ERP)) has been identified in many countries. A variety of tests are available to monitor anthelmintic efficacy but most of them are expensive, laborious and time consuming. The aim of this project was to determine the efficacy of anthelmintic drugs used in eight equine groups in Ireland. The anthelmintic efficacy was determined by calculating the percentage reduction in the faecal egg count (FEC) between the group mean at Day 0 and Day 14 post-treatment (FECRT). In addition FECs were also calculated at two week intervals for up to 16 weeks after anthelmintic drug administration to determine the ERP for BZ, ivermectin and moxidectin. ERP was defined when the group arithmetic mean FEC exceeded 10% of the group arithmetic mean FEC at Day 0.The larval development assay (LDA) was used to detect resistance to BZ in two groups of horses and the larval migration inhibition assay (LMIA) was also performed to measure the sensitivity to ivermectin in two groups of donkeys and moxidectin in two horse farms and two groups of donkeys. The results of FECRT indicate BZ-resistance on both farms; FECR of 86% and 61%, an ERP of only two weeks and the EC50 for the LDA of 0.3 and 0.7 µg/ml, respectively. While MLs were still effective in all cases with a FECR >95% and the EC50 for the LMIA ranging from 0.06 to 0.38 µg/ml the ERP ranged from only 4 to 10 weeks. Overall the results from this study indicate that BZ was ineffective but both ivermectin and moxidectin are still effective in all groups. However, the reduced ERP results for the MLs would suggest that these products are less effective compared to label claims - a shortened ERP is believed to be an early indicator of resistance.

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An investigation of the equine infectious disease threat represented by the presence of donkeys at mixed equestrian events in Ireland

Citation

Sarah Finney, Joseph A. Collins, Vivienne Duggan. July 2015. An investigation of the equine infectious disease threat represented by the presence of donkeys at mixed equestrian events in Ireland. Irish Veterinary Journal. 68:11.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 July 2015
Volume: 
68
Issue: 
11
DOI number: 
10.1186/s13620-015-0041-6
Abstract

The number of abandoned or otherwise neglected donkeys has significantly increased in Ireland in the recent past. The real or perceived capacity of the donkey to act as a reservoir of equine infectious disease, and thus pose an increased risk of disease transmission to horses and ponies, may be a factor in this increased abandonment and neglect. The authors here report on a field study exploring the infectious disease transmission threat the donkey poses to the general equine industry in Ireland through an examination of biosecurity standards and the views of horse and donkey exhibitors at nine mixed equestrian events in 2014. Quantitative information was gathered via the organising committee (if any) and through an examination of facilities and procedures. Qualitative information was gathered using a semi-structured questionnaire to ascertain the view of exhibitors regarding the keeping of donkeys and any infectious disease transmission risks posed.

Results
At eight of nine events visited there were no entrance controls, no veterinary examinations, no enforcement of legislation regarding equine identification and equine premises registration and no isolation facilities on site for equids. Contact between donkeys and other equids was largely uncontrolled. Exhibitors had travelled from abroad to one event. Exhibitors generally opined that they did not perceive the donkey to represent any additional infectious disease transmission threat above that posed by other equids; there was however a general sense that donkeys were less well regarded for other reasons including nuisance and uselessness.

Conclusions
When biosecurity controls are not in place (or enforced) to actually check passports, verify identification and equine premises registration, mixed equestrian events may unwittingly act as the mechanism of spread of endemic and potentially more seriously exotic equine infectious disease. Donkeys were not generally considered by equine exhibitors at mixed events in Ireland to represent a heightened reservoir of disease or to pose an increased risk of transmission of contagious disease suggesting that other factors should be considered more important when studying the incidence of abandonment and neglect.

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Mycobacterium bovis infection in a donkey

Citation

Jill Bryan, Pieter Den Boon, J McQuirk, G Madigan, Ursula Fogarty. Mycobacterium bovis infection in a donkey. Presented at Annual Meeting of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Thursday 6 September 2012
Abstract

Introduction: Mycobacterial infections are rare in equines. Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) is an important zoonotic pathogen causing disease in a wide range of animal species. Infection with M. bovis has not been documented previously in the donkey.

Materials and Methods: A 29-year-old donkey gelding presented with depression, pyrexia, tachycardia, tachypnoea and generalised wheezes and crackles on thoracic auscultation. Haematologic examination identified neutrophilic leukocytosis. Response to treatment with antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories was poor and the donkey was euthanased.

Results: On gross postmortem examination the lungs were diffusely consolidated with an irregular nodular appearance of the surface and multiple coalescing, firm, pale masses diffusely distributed throughout the parenchyma. Multiple, variably sized, firm, pale nodular masses were also identified within the mediastinum, epicardium, omentum, kidneys, liver, spleen and diaphragm. Histopathological examination of lung showed prominent interstitial fibrosis and diffuse granulomatous inflammation in which acidfast bacilli were occasionally identified. The additional nodular masses represented foci of chronic granulomatous inflammation. Culture of lung yielded a heavy growth of mycobacteria confirmed to be M. bovis by molecular techniques (GenoType MTBC).

Conclusion: Although rare in equines, disease caused by M. bovis should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis in donkeys presenting with signs of respiratory disease and respiratory or generalised granulomatous inflammation.

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