Bulletin Board: 03/02

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Study Examines Causes Of Foal Loss
three-year study on breeding management and the causes of late pregnancy loss in mares concluded that greater efforts should be made to prevent bacterial infections in broodmares.

The study ended last year and was recently published in Bellwether. It was conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and coordinated by the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. Over 350 breeders and 135 veterinarians registered for the project and submitted diagnostic material from nearly 150 aborting mares.

Reported problems associated with late pregnancy loss included: placentitis 17%; other placental abnormalities 18%, bacteria infection 12%, rhinopneumonitis 11%, developmental abnormality 11%, dystocia 10%, umbilical cord abnormalities 9 %, twins 2.5%; 9.5% not specified. Not associated with pregnancy loss in this particular study were fescue, nocardia placentitis, leptospirosis, equine viral arteritis (EVA), equine infectious anemia (EIA) or mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).

The study said that a local infection of the genital tract is a common cause of placentitis. Mares with poor perineal conformation or poor body condition are prone to infection, which can be prevented by good feed and moderate exercise. Prevention of rhino includes both vaccination and management to keep mares isolated from other horses on the farm.

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Summit On Racehorse Meds
The American Association of Equine Practitioners held a first-ever summit on racehorse medication last December, including trainers, vets, owners, racetracks and regulatory bodies for Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse racing.

Key points of agreement included the need for uniformity of policies across state lines and in all jurisdictions; the creation of a national body to develop policies and practices; the need for a reference laboratory to address testing issues; and the need to find a way to fund the recommendations. The next step will be to develop an action plan to implement the recommendations.

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Pleas Entered For Wild Horse Shootings
Two men pleaded no contest in January in a Reno, Nev., court to a single misdemeanor count in the December 1998 killing of 34 wild horses that raised wide notice and thousands of letters to the judge, according to the Associated Press. A third man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

Scott Brendle, 24, and Darien Brock, 23, former Marine lance corporals, could face up to a year in jail and fines up to $2,000. Anthony Merlino, 23, a Reno construction worker who admitted he shot one injured horse, faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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ID Numbers Will Be Required
All horses competing in a USAE-recognized competition will be assigned an ID number by the organization’s sporthorse database, beginning Dec. 1, 2002, according to a new rule passed at the annual convention in January.

Owners of horses already registered with the USAE or an affiliated breed/discipline won’t have to do anything additional, as long as that organization supplies the USAE with the data, nor will they have to pay another fee.

Owners of horses that don’t have such a number can get one without an additional fee if they do it online. A paper application will cost $10; the fee at a show will be $20. A few unrated divisions will be exempt.

The ID number will allow the database to track horse performance and link it with breeder records. Purchasers will also be protected since they’ll be able to get performance records of horses they’re considering buying, and sellers won’t be able to establish a new identity for sale horses.

The U.S. Dressage Federation is also requiring an ID number as of Oct. 1, for all horses at USDF-recognized competitions, including sporthorse classes. Horse in breed-restricted classes, Introductory tests and other special classes such as pas de deux, 4-H and academy classes will be exempt. If a horse is not USDF life-recorded, his owner will be assessed a one-time fee of $20.

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Peace At Last'
USAEquestrian and the U.S. Equestrian Team agreed in January on a plan to form a single new National Governing Body for equestrian sport, as mandated by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The details will be negotiated over the next few months, but the basic structure will include three divisions: international, national and administrative. The staff will be a consolidation of the current USET and USAE staffs. The USAE office in Lexington, Ky., and the USET office in Gladstone, N.J., will be maintained.