Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Bahrain: Chip 'n' Ride! - Full Article

December 8-14 2010

EVERY horse and pony in the kingdom is to be micro-chipped as the country endeavours to be internationally-recognised as 'glanders free', writes Stan Szecowka and Anasuya Kesavan.

A professional team is to visit every stable in Bahrain to carry out the procedure and issue each animal with a 'passport' with details of its medical history.

The cost of the exercise is 'significant' but a spokesman for the Ministry of Municipalities & Agriculture Affairs said the government would cover the cost.

The move follows the cancellation of the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation's (BREEF) show jumping season.

Breef's secretary general Ghalib Al Alawi sent out a circular to the equestrian community urging immediate co-operation warning 'legal proceedings' would be considered against anyone flouting the rules.

"Please do not organise any show jumping events where horses from your club are likely to be mixed with other horses from others clubs or centres," he said.

Since May all equine shows have been cancelled, movement between stables suspended and horse trading banned to prevent the spread of the highly-contagious condition which is incurable and can lead to victims suffering agonising illness and eventual death. Some animals, however, can carry glanders and show no symptoms for months.

The war against the bacterial equine disease in Bahrain - which is believed to have claimed 126 victims - appeared to have been won and riding activities were once more back on the agenda following the recent announcement of an endurance horse riding season calendar...

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