by Robert A Eustace FRCVS, Founder of The Laminitis Trust

The Laminitis Trust is the only registered Charity dedicated to supporting research into equine laminitis; it was founded in 1998..

The advent of the Laminitis Trust Feed Approval Mark has been well received. The purpose of the mark is to indicate those feeds which the Scientific Committee of the Trust considers to be suitable to feed to horses at high risk of laminitis and those suffering from the disease. Most importantly further recommendations have been made by the Trust concerning the general equine diet.

Additionally, we have completed a trial using the herb Vitex agnus castus to assess its efficacy in helping horses and ponies with pituitary dependent Cushing's disease. Vitex was found to be efffective and had no unwanted side effects, it is now the treatment of choice for Cushing's Disease at the Laminitis Clinic.

A month long awareness campaign produced a coordinated focus on the disease throughout the equestrian press. An educational leaflet was produced giving advice on the prevention of laminitis and guidance on management. Welfare organisations are encouraging us to run the campaign as an annual event to raise awareness amongst new and inexperienced horseowners and to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals at risk. Further efforts will be made to spread the message that in over 80% of cases the disease could be avoided by more appropriate diet and management.

The secondary aim of the awareness campaign has been to raise funds for a research project. Any support from the public in terms of organising fund-raising activities would be much appreciated.

The Laminitis Trust.

The Laminitis Trust has a board of four Trustees, Professor I. Silver, Simon Thomas, William Bougourd and Robert Eustace. The Scientific Committee advises on nutritional matters and includes Dr David Frape.

If you would like more information on the Trust and its aims, then do please ring Robert Eustace in office hours on: 01249-890784
He will be happy to explain in much more detail.

How can you help?

We are asking you to donate as much as you can in view of the urgency and importance of this subject. Laminitis is second only to colic as the major cause of premature death in equines and second only to pus in the foot as the major cause of lameness.

If you are content to donate on the strength of your own experience, or those of your friends, then please write a cheque for the relevant amount and send it to: The Laminitis Trust, c/o Mead House, Dauntsey, Chippenham, Wilts SN15 4JA.

Remember though, were you to agree to covenant an annual amount, the Trust, being a charity, receives not just your donation, but also the tax you have paid on it (at the basic rate). If you pay tax above the basic rate, you can also claim back the difference from the taxman.

Likewise, for gifts over £250, the same applies under the Gift Aid Provision. The Trust claims back the tax you have paid up to the basic rate, you claim back the rest, if any. Please click here DONATIONS to visit the Government website from which an easy to complete form may be viewed and downloaded.

Thank you for your interest and help.