China has approved and released a standard to guide the use of acupuncture on equine animals such as horses, which will be implemented from Feb. 1, 2023, according to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). Drafted by experts from the Lanzhou Institute of Husbandry and Pharmaceutical Sciences under CAAS, as well as other Chinese universities, the standard specifies the names and positions of 180 acupuncture points in equine animals.

According to traditional Chinese medical records, acupuncture can be used to treat more than 300 equine diseases such as heatstroke, colds, pneumonia, overwork and rheumatism, said Qiu Zhengying from the Lanzhou Institute of Husbandry and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Acupuncture is also widely used in contemporary Chinese veterinary medicine as it is simple, easy to implement, and has remarkable curative effects in the treatment of pain and dyskinesia, she said. Veterinary acupuncture is also used abroad. Some groups and institutes in the United States, Canada, Japan and other countries are developing veterinary acupuncture education and clinical application, Qiu said. However, there are not yet enough clinical veterinarians who have mastered Chinese veterinary medicine and acupuncture skills, she added. The standard has important guiding significance for acupuncture point positioning, clinical application, and scientific research into the use of acupuncture on equine animals, CAAS said. The move is expected to fill a gap in the standards for Chinese veterinary acupuncture, and promote the teaching and clinical application of Chinese veterinary medicine, CAAS said. It is also expected to promote domestic and foreign academic exchanges in the field.