Attitudes towards implementation of surveillance-based parasite control on Kentucky Thoroughbred farms - Current strategies, awareness and willingness-to-pay

M. Robert, W. Hu, M. K. Nielsen, C. J. Stowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Reasons for performing study: Traditionally, equine parasite control has relied heavily on frequent routine anthelmintic treatments applied at regular intervals all year round. However, current recommendations aim to employ a more surveillance-based approach and it remains unknown to what extent these recommendations are being implemented on US horse farms. Objectives: To describe equine parasite control on Kentucky Thoroughbred farms and evaluate respondents' willingness to pay for various attributes of surveillance-based parasite control strategies. Study design: Questionnaire survey performed among the membership of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club. Methods: The survey collected demographic data and information about current parasite control strategies. Further, respondents were asked to choose between hypothetical parasite control strategies described with a combination of different attributes: costs, time and effort needed, hypothetical disease-risk levels and hypothetical risks of anthelmintic resistance. Data were analysed with multivariable logistic analysis. Results: About 26% responded to the survey (n = 112). Most respondents were concerned about anthelmintic resistance and incorporated veterinary advice in defining their deworming programme. However, almost 70% were following a traditional rotational deworming programme with little or no faecal surveillance. Respondents were willing to pay a premium for a product for which there is no known anthelmintic resistance and provided the highest possible decrease in health risks. The number of young horses on the farm, utilisation of veterinarian advice in developing a deworming programme, expressed concern about drug resistance in parasites and having documented drug resistance on the farm all associated significantly with the type of parasite control programme used. Conclusions: Traditional approaches for equine parasite control are still widely used in the Kentucky Thoroughbred industry. The data suggest that respondents were only willing to make these changes if they could be given assurance that the surveillance-based approach would prevent anthelmintic resistance and decrease health risks significantly for the horses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-700
Number of pages7
JournalEquine Veterinary Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 EVJ Ltd.


  • Conjoint analysis
  • Horse
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred farms
  • Parasite control
  • Willingness-to-pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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