Rodents can cause damage to electrical wiring, plumbing, tack, rugs and loss of feedstuffs with very real financial consequences. Rats also pose a number of public health risks and can carry diseases such as Leptospirosis, Salmonella, Tuberculosis, Cryptosporidiosis, E. coli and Foot & Mouth Disease.
Where rabbits or moles are present, grazing livestock are at risk of injury if they step into a rabbit hole or a mole run collapses underneath their weight. Mole hills also pose a risk of soil contamination of fodder crops which can result in exposure to Botulism. Botulism is caused by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, which lives in the soil. Under some circumstances C. botulinum produces a neurotoxin during the fermentation process involved with the production of haylage and silage. This can be caused by decaying carcasses, soil contamination, damaged wrapping, or poorly made products. Disease in the UK is rare but where disease does occur it is usually fatal with horses becoming paralysed and dying rapidly.