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New protocol for outbreaks of CEM
Taylorella equigenitalis, the bacterium that causes CEM, can be passed through natural mating and artificial insemination.
Highly contagious disease remains ‘a very real threat’

A new protocol has been implemented for controlling future outbreaks of contagious equine metritis (CEM) in England, Scotland and Wales.

Suspected cases must still be reported to the APHA, but the owners of affected horses will now be able to use a private equine veterinary surgeon - who has been specifically approved to deal with the disease - without official movement restrictions being imposed.

This arrangement requires compliance with control measures outlined in the Horserace Betting Levy Board’s code of practice for CEM. All associated costs will continue to be covered by the horse owner.

Taylorella equigenitalis, the bacterium that causes CEM, can be passed through natural mating and artificial insemination. It causes sub-fertility in affected mares and stallions can carry it without showing clinical signs, leading to chronic infection.

The new protocol was developed by the Equine Disease Coalition, which is chaired by World Horse Welfare and comprises representatives from the APHA, Animal Health Trust, BEVA, Defra and devolved administrations, Nottingham vet school, RSPCA and RVC.

BEVA chief executive David Mountford said: “Whilst occurrences of CEM are sporadic and we have not had any confirmed cases in the UK since 2012, it still presents a very real threat to our breeding industry.   

“Ensuring cases are treated and managed by an approved veterinary surgeon, who is fully versed in the HBLB Code of Practice, guarantees that the appropriate provisions will be taken in order to safeguard our world class breeding population.”

Professor Sidney Ricketts, joint veterinary adviser for the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, warned that while there have not been any UK cases for a number of years - largely because of compliance with the HBLB code of practice - infections are regularly found in many other countries.

“So there is a continued risk from carrier or infected mares or stallions being imported into the UK,” he added. “The new control measures are a vital tool in helping manage this risk.” 

The AHT will have a central role in the protocol, co-ordinating activities undertaken by approved vets, receiving and collating reports, initiating tracing processes off affected premises and taking responsibility for epidemiological investigations.

Horse owners and laboratories should report suspected cases to the Defra Rural Services helpline, on 03000 200 310.

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop