Maricopa County Stallion Tests Positive for STD; Tainted Semen Shipped to Three States
According to officials at the Arizona Department of Agriculture, a stallion has tested positive for Contagious Equine Metrititis, resulting in the quarantine of five other horses that were exposed to the animal.
According to ADA officials, the disease can cause "spontaneous abortions" and infertility in mares.
"This disease can be carried by stallions and mares and transmitted even through modern breeding practices of artificial insemination and embryo transfer"," Dr. John Hunt, ADA associate director for animal services, says. "Because many animals don't show symptoms, CEM can be difficult to detect and control."
Farm records show that the stallions tainted semen already has been shipped to three states for insemination.
The disease was detected when plans were made to ship the 4-year-old Arabian stallion's semen overseas -- to ship horse semen internationally, it must be tested for diseases like CEM.
"The disease can be spread among stallions if strict cleanliness standards are not maintained during the collection of semen," the ADA says. CEM, officials say, can be treated with antibiotics.
There's no evidence that the disease affects humans.The infected horse, and other exposed horses, were being held by state animal-health authorities.