A mare in Oxfordshire has tested positive to the notifiable disease contagious equine metritis (CEM).
According to DEFRA, to which cases of CEM must be reported, the mare was imported from Germany. A movement order has been placed on her stables, and an investigation is under way to establish whether she has been used for breeding in the UK.
CEM causes a uterine infection in mares and can lead to infertility. It is treatable, but can be easily and unknowingly spread by stallions and mares both of which can carry the disease without showing signs.
CEM is notifiable because in the 1970s we had a major outbreak that affected the Thoroughbred breeding industry, said Dr Richard Newton at the Animal Health Trust. There have been a number of CEM cases in various European countries recently, including Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland. This is of concern as it can affect the trade of horses.
- This news report was first published in Horse & Hound (11 May, ’06)