Horses imported into the United States are required to be detained at the port of entry where they are tested for dourine, glanders, equine piroplasmosis and EIA. Any horse testing positive for any of these diseases will be refused entry. Once these tests are completed, mares and stallions from a CEM affected country, over 731 days old will be sent to an approved CEM facility to undergo further required testing.
CEM or Contagious Equine Metritis is venereal disease caused by the Taylorella equigenitalis . The disease is spread through breeding. Infected mares would ultimately become infertile if the disease remained undiagnosed. Stallions, considered carriers of CEM, usually remain asymptomatic.
MARES: Once blood is pulled, three sets of cultures are taken. It takes 7 days to obtain the results. Once three negative cultures are obtained, the mares undergo washing and packing for five days prior to release. Should the owner wish to shorten the stay, a fourth culture would be taken at the same time as the third culture as a backup. The entire process generally takes 16 - 21 days if there are no complications with the cultures.
STALLIONS: The average stay for stallions takes between 35 - 45 days. Two recipient mares are provided. They are tested the same way as import mares with three sets of cultures taken three days apart. At this time, Florida requires three negative cultures prior to the arrival of the stallion. This allows for live cover once the initial blood work on the stallion is complete. After the live cover is accomplished, the two recipient mares go through the culture process again. Once the stallion has covered the mares, he will go through washing/packing for five days and await the results from the mares.
During the CEM process, no antibiotics, medicinal ointments or antifungal shampoos can be used which could affect the results of the testing which would cause a delay in the release of the quarantine horses.