Vettings ~ passports ~ Insurance

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Vettings ~ passports ~ Insurance

Post by Admin on Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:55 pm

Pre-Purchase Veterinary Examination

Once you've chosen a horse or pony that you would like to buy, before making the final decision, it is advisable to have a pre-purchase veterinary examination performed (vet's certificate or a 'vetting' as it is often known).

Pre-purchase examinations are often not a significant portion of the final selling price of a horse and investing in a 'vetting' may save you money, time and effort in the long run. You must discuss with the veterinary surgeon that will be doing the examination what type of work you hope the horse will do. If the horse passes the examination then a certificate will be issued by the veterinary surgeon. This certificate can be used for insuring the horse or pony when the sale is completed.



The five stage vetting

This is carried out in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is the recommended form of exam. At the time of the vetting always ask for a blood test to be taken to check for the presence of pain killing drugs. If the horse subsequently becomes lame the blood can be tested to see if there was any drug present at the time of the vetting. This insurance policy protects buyers, sellers and veterinary surgeons. The 5 stage test may take a couple hours to complete and someone will need to be available to ride the horse.

Stage 1- observe the horse at rest in a darkened stable and check normal parameters, look at the eyes and listen to the heart. Your vet will check for any stable vices, however you should discuss this with the seller since, in the short time that it takes to do the test, the vet cannot warrant that the horse is free of them. The horse will then be taken outside, in good light, and be examined for lumps, bumps, blemishes and old injuries. The teeth may be checked to determine the age. Body condition and conformation will be noted.

Stage 2 walking and trotting in hand on a hard surface. Looking for signs of lameness and your vet may choose to carry out flexion tests. Lunging on both reins in a tight circle will exaggerate any subtle lameness.

Stage 3 ridden under saddle, checking for reaction to being mounted, ridden and requires more strenuous exercise. The vet will listen for abnormal 'wind' noises during work and heart abnormalities afterwards.

Stage 4 cooling off period and check for signs of stiffness after exercise.

Stage 5 looking with greater depth in areas that were of concern in previous stages. A blood sample will be collected and stored. The vet will ask for a final trot up.

On completion the vet must then give their opinion, as observed on that day, to the prospective buyer as to whether, on the balance of probabilities, the horse will be suitable for the type of work that the buyer requires the horse for.

Vettings are areas where lawsuits have arisen and therefore vets carry them out thoroughly, carefully and any findings are fully documented.

The vendor's certificate

The second type of pre-purchase examination is called a vendor's certificate. This is sometimes issued by the vendor (seller) or by the vendor's veterinary surgeon prior to selling the horse. These are not to be confused with a 5 stage veterinary examination and if in doubt then contact your veterinary surgeon for further advice.

Passports

The 'Horse Passports Regulations 2004 came into effect in June 2004 and means that EVERY horse must now have its own passport whether or not it is expected to travel.

The purpose is to make sure that horses, throughout Europe, treated with specific medicines do not enter the food chain. The introduction of passports should help reduce the risk of a ban being introduced on numerous veterinary medicines currently used for treating horses. These medicines are essential for our horses welfare (e.g. phenylbutazone ('bute')).

There is a declaration within the passport to determine whether the horse will ultimately end up in the human food chain. As soon as the declaration is signed by an owner it cannot be reversed and the horse will never be allowed into the human food chain. This does affect which pharmaceuticals can be given to the horse.

Further details can be obtained either from your veterinary surgeon or from the following websites:

The DEFRA website for full details:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/horses/topics/passports.htm

For Scottish regulations at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/05/31111522/15241

For Welsh regulations at:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/wales/wsi2005/20050231e.htm

Microchipping

Although not currently law it is advisable that your horse is microchipped. This means that individual horses can readily be uniquely identified by anyone with an appropriate scanner. In the future it may become a legal requirement for all horses to be microchipped.



The microchip is a small integrated circuit encased in medical grade glass, no bigger than a grain of rice. It is inserted via a needle into the nuchal ligament of the neck from the left hand side. It is virtually impossible to remove even under surgical conditions. The microchip is programmed with a unique number which can be read by a radio scanner. When the microchip is inserted your veterinary surgeon will ask you to fill out a form with all your and your horse's relevant information. This information is then stored on a database along with your horse's number. In any situation where the horse needs to be identified the database can be contacted and your details retrieved.



Insurance

A horse may be the next most expensive purchase that many people make after a house and car and, clearly, it is important to protect that investment. The cheapest policy will be the cheapest for a reason and may not always be the best or the most suitable for your needs. There are numerous policies available and it is important that you spend some time investigating the various ones. No one has more experience of insurance policies than your vet and it may be worthwhile asking their opinion. Do talk to your horse-owning friends to gauge their opinion.

Illness, injury, theft or accidents can happen without warning and can often be expensive. Accidents involving your horse may result in you being seriously injured or legally responsible to pay large amounts of compensation and legal bills. Insurance is designed to bring you peace of mind and allows you to concentrate on the enjoyment of owning and riding a horse.

Always check exactly what the policy covers, the following is a rough guide:

  1. Check that vet fees are covered and that the amount is adequate.
  2. Check that there is no limit on how long you can claim for each illness, chronic disease can go on for life. You will want a 'life' policy.
  3. Check that your horse is going to be covered in its geriatric years. Some policies stop vet fee cover when your horse gets older.
  4. Check for 'third party' cover. Your household insurance will not necessarily cover you if, for instance, your horse got loose at a show and caused a road traffic accident involving other people's property.
  5. Ask your veterinary surgeon and other horse owners which companies they would recommend. You do not want the hassle of delayed payment of a claim, or find that you are excluded for some illness because you could not understand complicated policy wording.


Finally, you must make sure that your horse is kept fully vaccinated.

Admin
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