A 16-year-old quarter horse stallion in Kentucky has tested positive for contagious equine metritis, a dangerous disease transmitted through breeding that can cause infertility in mares and spontaneous abortions.
CEM does not affect people.
The horse, which was not named, tested positive during routine testing on Dec. 10, said the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The stallion was being tested at the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center prior to shipping frozen semen to the European Union.
The National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the test on Monday.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the stallion moved to Kentucky from Texas in February; the stallion and all exposed horses have been quarantined. It and any other horses that test positive will be treated with antibiotics and disinfectants. Horses can be infected for years with no symptoms.
CEM was first detected in the United States in 1978 on a Thoroughbred breeding farm in Central Kentucky; the last outbreak was in Missouri in 1979. Both times, it was eradicated.