CEM infection detected in stallion

A case of contagious equine metritis infection (CEM) has been confirmed in a non-thoroughbred stallion at Doughiska, Co Galway — the first case notified in Ireland since 1982.

Routine pre-breeding testing revealed the disease. The stallion had not shown clinical signs, and had tested negative in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The stallion was imported in 2009. The other stallion on the premises, also a non-thoroughbred, tested negative.

The premises (where mares are covered using AI) has been restricted and a full epidemiological investigation is under way, focusing on the premises and on recently inseminated mares. The infected stallion is being treated, under veterinary control.

Breeders and vets are advised to follow the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and Horse Sport Ireland’s codes of practice, and to ensure that all stallions, teasers and mares are specifically tested and cleared negative for CEM before they are used for breeding.

CEM is a notifiable venereal disease of horses in Ireland. Infection spreads through direct transmission of bacteria from mare to stallion or teaser, or vice versa.

It is also transmitted in artificial insemination from infected stallions.


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