Epidemiologic Teams Begin Survey Work

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 :

Beginning Wednesday May 30, trained veterinarians, researchers and technicians will be contacting and visiting farms to administer an in-depth confidential farm survey. Questions will involve routine farm management, pasture management, and numbers of horses on farms.

The purpose of this personal interview with farm managers and owners is to help identify other factors which may have contributed to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, and to supplement laboratory diagnostic investigations. The survey should take approximately 2 hours for completion per farm, and the survey will be faxed to farms prior to the visit.

This part of the investigation is crucial to the study of this syndrome and will involve farms with 20 or more mares of several breeds.

After the data has been collected, it will be entered by computer and electronically mailed to the USDA for data analysis. The survey development and analysis is a highly sophisticated process, requiring expertise from many veterinarians and epidemiologists at the USDA. These experts are extremely qualified at analyzing complex animal data, and have done so on multiple state and national animal surveys. The analysis will help in understanding common or uncommon denominators between affected and non-affected farms and horses.

The survey team, headed by Dr. Roberta Dwyer, would like to thank in advance all of the farms which volunteered to help with this important part of the MRLS study. Not all farms will be interviewed because of the overwhelming response, but all information is appreciated.