Contagious Equine Metritis
- Contagious Equine Metritis, a disease of horses notifiable in the UK, has been identified in a mare stabled in Gloucestershire. A second mare at the stables is currently under investigation.
- CEM is a venereal infection that causes a discharge from the vulva, resulting from inflammation of the uterus. Infected horses can be treated with antibiotics and recover.
- CEM cannot be transmitted to humans.
- The infection is easily controlled and movement restrictions on the horse and in-contacts have been put in place.
- It is a sexually transmitted equine disease. However, indirect transmission can also occur for example through contaminated breeding equipment.
- The spread of infection is controlled by preventing the mating of infected horses, treating the infection, re-testing several times to check the infection has cleared up before resuming mating, and applying strict hygiene measures when handling the horses involved.
- Horses are tested before they are exported so there will be limited trade implications.
- Further details about Contagious Equine Metritis can be found at http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/cem/index.htm
- The Horse Racing Betting Levy Board has also produced a Codes of Practice with Defra on preventing disease http://codes.hblb.org.uk/
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