Bulletin Board: 12/01

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Kentucky Foal Deaths To Affect Yearling Sales
The impact of mare reproductive loss syndrome on Kentucky could mean a 30% loss of the Thoroughbred foal crop in 2002 and 26% of all horse breeds.

A report to Kentucky’s governor by the University of Louisville indicated that 500 Thoroughbreds died this year and nearly 3,000 foals for 2002 were lost. The economic loss to the state attributed to MRLS could reach $300 million, spread out over the next two years, until the anticipated sale of the 2002 crop at the summer yearling sales.

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New PA Truck Law Enforced
On Sept. 4, a cattle trailer carrying 31 horses was stopped by the Pennsylvania SPCA, assisted by New Holland, Pa., police department, under the PA Horse Transport Law, Act 64, against double-decker trucks that went into effect on Aug. 25.

Two weeks later, 31 counts were filed against the driver of the trailer, which was owned by an Ohio livestock dealer, while 30 counts were also filed against New Holland Sales Stables. The horses were seized by the SPCA and held as evidence.

The law carries a maximum fine of $750 per count, plus possible jail time and forfeiture of the animals plus restitution for their care.

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Olympic Eventing Change Approved
The FEI executive board approved a new Olympic format for eventing in September, to be implemented in 2004 in Athens. Each country will be allowed five riders, who will each ride all three phases. The three best scores will count for the team awards. The top-scoring 25 riders will then complete another stadium jumping course to determine the individual medals.

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Lameness Costs Us $678 Million A Year
Lameness costs U.S. horseowners about $678 million a year, according to an analysis published last month by the USDA. The study also estimated yearly costs for colic at $115 million and EPM at $28 million.

The figures come from a USDA study conducted in 1998 that were combined with figures from the USDA’s agricultural statistics and the American Horse Council. The loss figures are a total of the cost for veterinary services, drugs and other care plus loss of use and death loss.

The study said the annual incidence for lameness per 100 horses was from eight to 14 events. Vet services cost $432 per event, and case fatality was 2.5%. Loss of use per event was 110 days.

The figures for colic were 4.2 events per 100 horses, costing $160 per event for vet services and care, with case fatality of 11% and loss of use only 2.4 days. EPM was estimated at .14 events per 100 horses, costing $1,438 for care per event, with fatality at 4.7% and loss of use at 244 days.

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West Nile Numbers Soar
By mid October, 191 cases of West Nile virus in horses had been reported for 2001 in 15 states, with 139 in Florida alone. Mortality rate was 21%. The next highest states were Massachusetts and Connecticut, with eight each. In 2001, 31 human cases were also reported, including nine in Florida, with one death in Georgia.

Restrictions for shipping horses to Europe from areas in the United States affected by WNV have not been reported this summer, as they were in 2000. However, the vaccine that is now available can produce antibodies that could restrict shipping individual horses. Horsemen considering vaccinating their horses and who may also want to ship them to Europe should consult with their shipping agency.

In 2000, 64 equine cases of West Nile virus were reported, all located in the Northeast, with a 42% mortality rate. As you may expect, experts predict further spread in 2002.

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Farnam To Market Australian Products
Farnam Companies announced a new alliance in September with International Animal Health Products of Australia, under which IAHP products will be introduced in the United States in 2002 while Farnam products with be distributed in Australia. IAHP manufactures nutritional supplements and electrolytes, plus wound care and grooming products.

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Horse Alliance Has A New Name
The Horse Industry Alliance changed its name in October to Saddle Up America. The marketing agency for the horse industry, which was founded in 1996, has 100 member breed associations and businesses. Saddle Up America is based in Lexington, Ky.