A stallion at a stud in Newmarket has tested positive for Contagious Equine Metritis (CEMO).
The horse is currently in quarantine before being exported to Australia. It was swabbed routinely and confirmed to be carrying the disease on 10 May.
CEMO is a notifiable disease in the UK, meaning that when a case is discovered it must be reported to DEFRA and all transmission routes and or the source of infection traced.
A spokesman from DEFRA told H&H: A veterinary officer (VO) from Animal Health, Bury St Edmunds, has visited the stud, served restrictions and is carrying out a veterinary inquiry.
CEMO can be difficult to detect because it often shows no clinical signs, but it is a highly contagious equine disease that is spread during mating, teasing and artificial insemination (AI). It can lead to infertility and cause a mare to abort her foal.
CEMO is treatable with antibiotics but that treatment can be lengthy and awkward, since it involved topical application of antibiotics and disinfectant to the genitalia.
There is no evidence that CEMO can be transmitted to humans.
The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) produces a code of practice on CEMO for the UK. Visit www.hblb.org.uk