Dear Cotts Clients,
You will be well-versed in the current UK Gov instructions to stay inside and only go out only for exercise in groups of two or less, and only once daily.
However, you as horse and pony owners will be in a dilemma, as are we at Cotts. How do you meet the welfare of your animal if you are not allowed outside? Are you allowed to travel to a remote address to a stable?
Obviously there is a good reason to stay at home. We are in the exponential growth stage of the Coronavirus, and anyone you meet could be a silent shedder, as indeed you could. If enough people carry on travelling, placing virus on everything they touch, then in a short amount of time all NHS beds will be full of seriously ill patients.
Can we suggest the following:
1. If your horse or pony is on a livery yard organise a system to either have time slots or a shared rota looking after each others horses, trying to minimise the amount of people present on the yard at any one time. We know a lot of yards have already put such measures in place and further advice and guidance is available through the British Equestrian Federation and British Horse Society websites - www.bef.co.uk and www.bhs.org.uk respectively. Please respect the Government’s advice regarding social distancing and especially hand-washing/sanitising regularly.
2. If your stable is at home, then there is no reason to not carry on caring for the animals as normal, as long as you are not meeting people from another household.
3. Consider not putting yourself at any increased risk of accidents which may lead to hospitalisation. Ask yourself if this includes riding activities.
4. Delay for 3 weeks all routine equine visits unless the welfare of your horse or pony would be compromised.
If you telephone Cotts for an emergency visit we will come. If you are uncertain about whether your animal needs an urgent visit, please telephone us. If your horse or pony requires a physical examination in order to provide appropriate treatment we will come. If your horse is ill, injured or in pain we will provide the appropriate care.
We can also arrange for a tele-consultation at any time, avoiding any exposure risk to you, or us, and should you require a subsequent visit the cost of this remote consultation will be deducted from your examination fee. We can arrange for your on-going medication to be posted.
We have a duty to the animals under our care and will strive to ensure the welfare of our patients is maintained whilst following the Government’s latest advice.
Please advise us if you are self-isolating or have any symptoms of illness. If we visit we will be maintaining a distance of at least 2 meters from you and following all standard preventative advice.
Do take care of our NHS by taking care of your horses and ponies with great consideration.