CEM Necessitates Changes to Spanish Riding School Management, Schedule

Officials with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, announced in April that contagious equine metritis (CEM) had been confirmed in Lipizzans at the school and the Federal Stud, and that certain changes in the school's schedule and management would be required to eliminate the bacteria within the herd.

According to a statement released by the school, the stable tours in Vienna will be restricted until the beginning of July. The performances, morning training, and the Privatissimum of the Spanish Riding School will continue without any restrictions.

The test-positive horses at the Federal Stud Piber are in quarantine in the veterinary ward. The Stud has also stopped their horse sales and participation in off-site events. Guest horses will not be hosted at Stud events as an additional safety measure.

Contagious equine metritis is caused by Taylorella equigenitalis, a Gram-negative bacterium. Although it can affect fertility, the highly contagious venereal disease often causes no clinical signs. Contagious equine metritis is considered a foreign animal disease in the United States, but it has afflicted horses here via imported stallions and semen.

None of the horses at the Riding School or the Federal Stud have shown any clinical signs of infection, and the Stud reported a 90% fertility rate in 2006.

According to the statement released by the Stud, the total cost of the horses' treatment, including the loss of business, necessary hygienic measures, and increased staff costs will amount to several hundred thousand Euros.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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