Delegates from 16 countries along with each country's associated veterinarians and observers met to exchange information pertaining to Thoroughbred racing, breeding, sales and general equine health at the bi-annual International Breeders Meeting May 30, 2006 in Tokyo.
The Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station has published the scientific papers from the August 2002 workshop on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, convened at the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center.
In a mock trial held May 2 as part of the National Equine Law Conference in Lexington, a large majority of "jurors" ruled in favor of plaintiffs who filed civil action lawsuits against a farm for damages related to mare reproductive loss syndrome.
The number of equine abortions in Central Kentucky remains ahead of last year's pace based on the most recent report issued by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center on Tuesday.
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.
Here is what is known, observed, and postulated so far about Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Two "syndromes" of unknown origin that began in late April are causing Central Kentucky farms to lose an excessive number of foals and fetuses. The first syndrome results in what broodmare owners know as "red bag," or premature placenta separation. The placenta comes out before the foal, often causing the foal to suffocate if the birth is unattended. The second syndrome was discovered a short time later, when veterinarians began to perform 60-day ultrasound fetal checks and found many mares either were not pregnant or in the process of ending their pregnancies. Some farms have experienced losses from 25-75% of next year's foal crop. There is no evidence the problems are slowing down.
Dr. David Powell, an epidemiologist at the University of Kentucky's Veterinary Science Department in the Gluck Equine Research Center, was interviewed Monday by The Blood-Horse about the unusually high number of early fetal loss and late-term abortions among broodmares at Central Kentucky farms.
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