Quantitative information about equine mortality is relatively scarce, yet it could be of great value for epidemiological purposes. In France, data from rendering plants are centralised in the Fallen Stock Data Interchange database ( FSDI), managed by the French Ministry of Agriculture, while individual equine data are centralised in the French equine census database, SIRE, managed by the French horse and riding institute ( IFCE).
To evaluate whether the combined use of the FSDI and SIRE databases can provide representative and accurate quantitative information on mortality for the French equine population and to propose enhancements of these databases to improve the quality of the resulting demographic information.
Mortality ratios for the French equine population were calculated per year between 2011 and 2014 and temporal variations in equine mortality modelled during the same period. Survival analyses were performed on a sample of equines traceable in both the FSDI and SIRE databases.
Estimates of the annual mortality ratios varied from 3.02 to 3.40% depending on the years. Survival rates of equines 2‐years‐old and over differed according to breed categories with the highest median age at death for the ponies. The weekly description of mortality highlighted marked seasonality of deaths whatever the category of equines. Modelling temporal variations in equine mortality also brought to light excess mortality.
The FSDI database provided an initial approach to equine death ratios on a national scale and an original description of temporal variations in mortality. Improvement in the traceability of equines between the FSDI and SIRE databases is needed to enable their combined use, providing a representative description of equine longevity and a more detailed description of temporal variations in mortality.