For veterinarians handling and preparing aborted materials from mares, it’s essential that they are adequately protected to ensure infectious diseases do not spread to other animals or people.
Equine Herpes Virus infection (EHV-1) is the most common cause of infectious abortion in horses throughout the world. It is highly contagious and can easily be transmitted to other horses on the hands or clothing of people in contact with material from a horse infected with EHV-1.
Chlamydia psittaci, a bacterium most commonly associated with birds, has recently been detected in aborted material from mares at a number of sites around NSW. It can cause serious illness in people and in southern NSW five people who had contact with an infected horse placenta developed serious respiratory illness, possibly psittacosis, with some requiring hospitalisation.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries has released a fact sheet providing biosecurity advice when handling aborted material from horses to reduce the risk of spread of infection to people and animals.
Download fact sheet