Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) has committed more than $500,000 toward 12 new and continuing veterinary studies for horses in 2006. Foundation-funded scientists at universities throughout the United States will study issues including foal diseases, colic, endotoxemia, genetic diseases, laminitis, neurologic disorders, and pain management. Through a previously funded collaborative effort, MAF contributed to the discovery of the cause, treatment, and vaccine development to prevent Potomac horse fever. An ongoing foundation-funded, multi-institutional study is providing important information in the development of the equine genome. Other past studies revealed information that led to the development of a test to detect carriers of the severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) gene in horses.
Earlier this year, MAF gathered some of the nation's top authorities in equine research to pinpoint equine health priorities and address the possibility of new consortium grants that will fund large-scale programs to advance equine health. Panelists included leading equine scientists, representatives from pharmaceutical and food industries, government, livestock insurers, and business and trade associations, among others. For a full equine consortium report, visit www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/learn/animals/horses/?section=0,1,2.
The foundation has since established the Equine Health Project, which met for the first time on Oct. 21, to raise funds for large consortium grants. A call for grant pre-proposals will be announced later this year, focusing on the areas of equine lameness, respiratory disease, inflammatory disorders, colic, and genetics.
Overall, the organization has approved $4 million to fund 44 new and 53 continuing veterinary studies for dogs, cats, horses, llamas/alpacas, and wildlife in 2006. For a complete list of MAF-funded studies, including investigator, location, study description, and sponsors, go to www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/apply/studies/horse/current.asp or call 800/243-2345.