New USDA Rule for Horses Imported from CEM-Affected Countries

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations regarding the importation of horses from countries affected with contagious equine metritis (CEM). “The additional testing added to our existing import
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The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its regulations regarding the importation of horses from countries affected with contagious equine metritis (CEM).

"The additional testing added to our existing import regulations will strengthen protections for horses in the United States," said John R. Clifford, DVM, deputy administrator for APHIS’ veterinary services program.

APHIS is taking this action after reviewing probable causes of CEM outbreaks in the United States. This review identified the need to strengthen testing protocol for horses arriving from CEM-affected countries.

CEM is a transmissible, exotic venereal disease in horses. It usually results in infertility in mares and, on rare occasions, can cause mares to spontaneously abort. Infected stallions exhibit no clinical signs but can carry the CEM bacteria for years. CEM is commonly transmitted during sexual intercourse but can also be transmitted indirectly through artificial insemination or contact with contaminated hands or objects. It can be treated with disinfectants and antibiotics

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