Charles Frank, MRCVS, veterinary advisor to the United Kingdom Thoroughbred Breeders Association, confirmed that a meeting had taken place on Monday, May 14, in Paris, France, of the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders. Following the meeting a statement was made to advise members not to re-import horses to Europe until a cause of the current health problems in Kentucky was identified. He said the group felt it was advisable to recommend that breeders and owners wait until more information is available as to the cause of the problems in Kentucky and elsewhere before bringing horses home to Europe. The European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders has representatives from five major Thoroughbred breeding countries in the European Union -- Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, and Germany -- plus representatives from other, smaller Thoroughbred breeding countries.
The scientific investigating teams are requesting help from Kentucky farms with first cutting, Kentucky-raised hay made prior to May 5, 2001. Please bring or send hay samples to the University of Kentucky Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Room 108, Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0099; attention Dr. Tom Tobin. The researchers will select hay samples from those submitted between now and next Friday, May 25, 2001. The analyses may allow scientists to better establish a snapshot of mycotoxin levels in Kentucky-raised, first-cutting hay baled prior to May 5, 2001, as an indicator of pasture mycotoxin levels. At this point, the investigative teams do not know if or how first cutting hay is involved, but the hay samples will be used to quantify pasture analyses at the suspect time of the primary insult."For those farms submitting hay samples, we prefer composite core hay samples from about 20 separate bales or rolls, mixed and placed in a paper bag. Please allow air circulation of the sample so molding will not occur. We also prefer mixed grass/legume hay for these samples. Please identify each composite sample with date baled, county of origin, and your farm contact information. All information submitted by farms or individuals will remain confidential as part of this portion of the research study. We welcome first cutting Kentucky-grown hay samples from any county in the state. Please contact your local Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service office if you need assistance."
Briefings will continue through the weekend, along with Field Reports from the Farm Managers.