Researchers at the University of Kentucky looking into the cause of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome are in the process of completing a comprehensive survey involving more than 150 farms.
In an effort to determine the effects of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome on the horse industry, Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton has announced he will commission an economic impact study.
The service is sponsored by Bethlehem Farm, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Kirkpatrick & Company, and the members of St. John's Episcopal Church, and is open to the public.
Kentucky official reports that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman is knowledgeable of problems associated with Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Horse owners should not become too lax even though researchers say the insult that caused the foal losses and other health problems this spring in Kentucky and other states probably is past.
Horse owners should not become too lax even though researchers say the insult that caused the foal losses and other health problems this spring in Kentucky and other states probably is past. There still are lingering problems in the aftermath of the initial injury.
Equine industry officials met with United States Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to discuss, among other issues, mare reproductive loss syndrome and its impact on breeders and owners.
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture posted the following information on its web site at http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/VetScience/mrls/brief529.htm :
While cost isn't always the most important consideration when it comes to a crisis, over time, the costs can add up.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Horse Council have prepared legislation they hope is introduced by Kentucky Sens. Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell when Congress reconvenes June 4.
Latest press releases from the Gluck Equine Research Center and the UK Livestock Diagnostic Center
The University of Kentucky reported significant recent progress in accounting for Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS).
Sequence of events, in chronological order, surrounding Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Following are some of the questions and answers from the informational meeting Thursday about Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Based on University of Kentucky researchers' identification of cyanide as the likely cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, they have determined there is no need to ship mares outside the state and that the pastures are safe.
No longer does the mysterious Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome appear to be the result of incredibly high mycotoxin levels in pasture grasses; now the most likely cause appears to be cyanide brought onto pastures from wild black cherry trees, carried by Eastern tent caterpillars.
A reproductive study examining the breeding records of four Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farms reveals that nearly 30% of mares bred between early February and early May 2001 who were declared at one time to be in foal, lost those foals.
Keeneland is exploring ways to deal with sale horses whose health might have been compromised by pericarditis and other problems linked to mare reproductive loss syndrome.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Center have made significant progress in their quest to find the cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome. According to reports presented Thursday during an informational forum at Keeneland, black cherry trees located in close proximity to horse pastures are the primary source of the cyanide that was detected in tests of dead foals and fetuses from mares that aborted.
The good news is if the Eastern tent caterpillars were responsible in some way for this spring's outbreak of foal loss, that they are gone now, cocooned and growing into the next generation of moths.
The Jockey Club is asking breeders to submit their 2001 Live Foal/No Foal Reports as soon as possible after the birth of the foal or when it is determined that a mare will not produce a live foal this year. The request is coming on the heels of the recent mare reproductive loss syndrome in Kentucky and surrounding states.
Daily reports on aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals from the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center:
As of noon May 23, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received three additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (one early-term and two late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 532.
The scientific investigations continue into the cause of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS). Additional pasture and hay sample results obtained today (5/23) continue to be negative for all mycotoxins, adding further evidence that mycotoxins are not the cause of the syndrome.
Here is what is known, observed, and postulated so far about Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Discussions of results obtained to date by several scientists and consultants working on the investigation into the cause of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) on Monday have caused the investigation to shift to a more thorough examination of the potential role of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar (ETC) in MRLS.
As of noon May 22, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received only one additional aborted equine fetus for diagnostic testing/evaluation.
The University of Kentucky conducted an interview with Jeanne Cox-Owens, general manager of Cobra Farms, as of May 22. In the interview she updates the status of her farms.
A sequence of events surrounding the equine health crisis in Kentucky.
American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Following is a summary by Tom Priddy meterologist in the UK College of Agriculture, regarding weather and growing conditions for years when there were reported early fetal/foal losses in Kentucky in 2001, 1980, and 1981.
The death of Dubai Millennium from grass sickness has again highlighted the devastating effects of the disease, and brought to prominence research tied to finding causes and a cure.
An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned. While heavy losses already have been incurred, particularly involving maiden and barren mares bred in February, the good news is that mares bred from late March on appear to be holding their pregnancies at close to normal percentages. Based on the surveys and on the normal distribution of Kentucky foals born between January and June, The Blood-Horse estimates the 2002 Kentucky foal crop will decrease by no more than 21%.
The University of Kentucky's coordinating group has been studying details of mare breeding records for 2001. This identified more precisely the time of the critical insult giving rise to the syndrome- -between April 17 and 23. Based on information provided, late abortions, the birth of weak foals, and early fetal losses appear to be linked to the same causal event.
As of noon May 21, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received 12 additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (one early-term and 11 late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation.
Peter Taaffe, owner of Taaffe Farm near Midway, Ky., in this interview with the University of Kentucky provides an update for his farm as of May 21.
At Monday's daily briefing from the University of Kentucky, it was announced that the scientific investigating team, with the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, will hold an information sharing session on Thursday, May 24, similar to the session held on May 10. The session will begin at 5:00 pm at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. The entire session will be web-cast live from the Website at www.keeneland.com.
The third week of May in Central Kentucky was marked by cautious optimism, with the slowing of early fetal and late-term gestation loss, growing frustration among industry professionals, and much-needed rain. The Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center has received more than 500 dead fetuses/foals this spring. Some veterinarians are predicting that the 2001 Kentucky foal crop could be reduced 5% to 10%, and the 2002 foal crop might drop 30% to 40% or more.
Southern States has included the patented mycotoxin binder MTB100 in its line of Triple Crown horse feeds since February of 2000, according to Bill Vandergrift, PhD, owner of Equivision nutrition company and a consulting nutritionist for Southern States.
The scientific investigation into Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome continued through the weekend as all teams work in their specific areas of expertise.
As of noon May 20, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received eight additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (eight early-term and no late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 516.
The scientific investigation into Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome continues. Numerous farm visits were made by scientists on Friday to further evaluate field and pasture characteristics. Laboratory analysis of samples continues.
As of noon May 19, with the addition of 11 aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (two early-term and nine late-term) submitted to the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center in Lexington, the total since April 28 has reached 508.
The latest MRLS information presented on the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture website.
Fescue toxicosis (toxicosis is any disease condition due to poisoning) is caused when tall fescue (Festuca arundinacaea) becomes infected with the mold Acremonium coenophialum.
Two extension specialists provide information on tent caterpillars.
As of noon May 18, a total of 11 additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (8 late-term and 3 early-term) have been submitted for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total as of this count since April 28, 2001 is 497.
In an effort to show support for industry horse owners and breeders, The Blood-Horse, Inc., announced yesterday it will contribute a portion of its advertising revenues for the remainder of 2001 to the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky, to support further research into the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome that is currently plaguing the Thoroughbred industry.
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