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FOUR PAWS vets prepare for horse vaccinations


The wild horses in the Romanian Danube Delta have successfully made it through the winter. Now it is time for FOUR PAWS vet Ovidiu Rosu to prepare for the necessary birth control measures and vaccinations. To do this, he has sought the help of renowned wildlife specialist Yascin Distinto. Together they have spent several days in the area, testing various techniques to immobilise the horses without disturbing the herd. So far, progress has been fully satisfactory: even the fitting of a temporary GPS collar and final works on the vaccination corral have not caused any problems.

Dr. Distinto, who has previously worked with FOUR PAWS in the Ukraine, has suggested delivering anaesthesia from a distance of 40 to 50 metres. The aim of these considerations is to cause as little contact between humans and the horses as possible, as a part of the herd has been traumatised by their illegal capture two years ago. The catching and immobilisation methods used here are internationally approved and well-known, but every horse breed reacts differently. Therefore these strategies always have to be tested before being applied to a larger group. The re-mobilisation and full recovery of each horse is supervised by the two veterinarians at all times. The two have also managed to equip one of the tranquillised horses with a specially made GPS collar, which is designed to fall off by itself should the vets fail to take it off manually. The signal provides the experts with a precise location of the animals, which will facilitate the process immensely.

The high tech corral

The new corral, which is going to be used for vaccinations, medical checks and birth control measures has been built with doors that can be closed via a remote control. This again is owed to the fact that the vets want to minimise any stress on the horses – in many cases it also will allow them to just lure the animals indoors with fodder. While final works on the self-made paddock, video systems and location maps are nearly done, FOUR PAWS will soon be able to start with this scientifically monitored initiative, which will be a huge step forward in securing the horses' safe and happy future in Letea.