When Bill Moyer talked about the importance of separating footcare facts from fiction during the second annual International Hoof-Care Summit in late January, he also pointed out the need for larger investments in footcare research. (See Pages 53 to 57 for details on what he told over 700 Summit attendees.)
The equine veterinarian and head of the large animal and surgery department in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University says the competition is becoming more fierce for dwindling equine research dollars.
Moyer maintains there’s a pretty small pool of money available worldwide for all horse research, which means only a very small number of dollars are being invested in analyzing foot and shoeing problems. He says researchers investigating colic, reproduction, infectious diseases, emerging diseases, lameness conditions and newly developing concerns such as West Nile virus are winning the battle for research dollars.
While many concerned with hoof care may believe that laminitis desperately needs a bigger share of equine research dollars, Moyer says it probably won’t get it.
He says there are only a handful of researchers in the world who can perform research of the quality required. There are also animal-welfare issues due to the pain any test animal who has laminitis will be subjected to.
Even so, a recent survey conducted among members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners listed laminitis as the No. 1 disease that requires an increased investment in research. AAEP leaders see an increased need for…