Sudden death of horses - a forced move and a cry for help - Veterinary Practice
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Sudden death of horses – a forced move and a cry for help

The founder of IHP has decided that they have no choice but to move premises to keep the horses safe

Charity Needs has been following closely the tragic stories of the sudden death of nineteen horses over the last two years. Previous updates have been released (all of which can be searched under the title of Sudden Death of Horses (IHP)), the last being in February 2021 about what’s been happening at the Italian Horse Protection (IHP) in Italy over the last year. But now the pain, the horror and the desperation has to be addressed. Once again they are having to up sticks and move more than 50 horses to new pastures having lost 19 at a relatively new home.

It has come to a point now where Sonny Richichi the founder of IHP has decided that they have no choice but to move premises to keep the horses safe. He has been working tirelessly asking in the Tuscan region for land that would be suitable for the horses. At first there was none available but, after a recent Zoom call with Sonny, he told the Charity that he has finally found somewhere which is about 30 kilometres away from where the IHP is situated now.

The horses will be moved in two parts, the more healthy ones will go first at the end of April beginning of May, the rest of the horses will be moved a month or so later. Moving 50 plus horses is expensive, having to prepare fencing outbuildings as well as the actual move to the premises where the IHP are now, came to around 350,000 euros. The unexpected cost of the testing to find a cause to the sudden deaths of the horses also has been a huge expense and stands at 5.000 euros. Tackling a new move in the next couple of weeks is going to be in the region of 20.000 euros. Although the horse’s safety has to take top priority this is the reality of the situation and the IHP are appealing for the general public’s generosity to give them a helping hand in the way of donations.

In Charity Needs‘ last article, it mentioned the situation had sparked some interest in the Italian parliament by The Hon. Patriza Prestipino who was going to put it to the Health and Environment Ministries. Unfortunately a new government has come into power so until there are new protocols put into place then this will have to wait.

The Charity was also waiting to hear back from ProMed, an internet service which is the largest public system to identify unusual health events in humans and animals. The wheels began to turn and Mattias Classon, an environmental engineer, came forward to look over the reports. He specialises in risk assessment and remediation of contaminated land and has shed some light on the situation. Although he pointed towards a pathogen in the water that could be investigated further, Sonny has been in contact with Mattis himself and is awaiting more information to see if this may be a possibility.

Karyn Bishop, a toxicologist in the USA who has given her time over the last year or so to look at the reports. She sent the charity‘s article out within her own professional circles of which she has had four experts respond to her request with fresh eyes on the situation. They came from Val Beasley, Dr Megan Romana, Rob Moeller and Alan Salsberg. All the suggestions have been sent through to Prof. Cantile who is a specialist in Veterinary Pathological Anatomy, vice Director of the department of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Pisa and who performed the post mortem in December 2020 on the mare Lady Agata.

Charity Needs would like to thank all the experts who have given their time to offer their ideas.

Although the move is imminent, research will continue to find a cause to the loss of the 19 horses over that two year period. If this story resonates with you in any way and you feel you can help in any way no matter how small it would be most appreciated by the IHP at this present time. Or at the very least share it forward so it reaches as many people as possible so there is a greater chance for the IHP to receive the funds it needs.

Thank you.

Veterinary Practice

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