CEM: Stallions Cleared at Kentucky Index Farm

The Central Kentucky farm that had the first discovered case of contagious equine metritis (CEM) in the recent outbreak, which set off the investigation that now includes 680 horses nationwide, has declared the all-clear. The four formerly positive stallions at DeGraff Stables/Liberty Farm Equine Reproduction Center LLC in Midway, Ky., have all completed treatment. No stallions remain under quarantine at the facility.

"Based on the testing evidence, the stallions have been released from all restrictions imposed," said Rusty Ford, equine programs manager in the office of Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert Stout, DVM. "The Kentucky State Veterinarian's Office is proclaiming that each of the exposed stallions and all of the previously infected stallions that had resided at DeGraff Stables Liberty Farm have been determined to be free of the contagious equine metritis disease-causing organism, Taylorella equigenitalis.

"Animals are released from quarantine only after they have completed an extensive testing protocol and clearly demonstrate the organism is not present," Ford stated.

The University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center first detected Taylorella equigenitalis, the causative organism for CEM, in a culture from Liberty Farm Quarter Horse stallion Potential Investment on Dec. 10, prior to his semen being exported to the European Union.

Other stallions at the farm that tested positive included:

  • Hot Lopin Sensation;
  • Indian Artifacts; and
  • Repeated in Red.

Overall, the stallion testing and treatment protocol at the farm was completed in three months. The final two stallions were released from quarantine March 10.

Kentucky State Veterinary officials' epidemiologic investigation concluded the disease-causing organism was introduced to the farm by a Paint stallion that had stood the preceding seasons in Wisconsin.

Liberty Farm owner Robin DeGraff and business partner Libby Trucco are now turning their focus to incoming mares. While the stallions are cleared, the farm is offering maintenance of mares that are considered under quarantine, including accommodating mares for testing, treatment, and clearance.

"You may have full confidence that housing and turnouts are separate with no 'nose-to-nose' contact as prescribed," they stated on the farm Web site. "We welcome all visitors."

Ford noted that the statewide investigation seems to be winding down as well, with six exposed stallions still under quarantine awaiting results from their final set of cultures, which were recently collected.

"We think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we have no reason to believe it is a train coming at us," Ford noted.

Locations have been confirmed for 686 horses exposed to T. equigenitalis. The 686 horses are located in 46 states. There are 121 exposed or positive stallions in 19 states and 565 exposed or positive mares in 44 states. Eight exposed mares are still actively being traced.

Including the four in Kentucky, 16 stallions have now completed their entire testing and treatment protocol and been determined to be negative for T. equigenitalis.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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