LEXINGTON, KY. With fears raised about a repeat of the epidemic that killed hundreds of foals in Kentucky last year, the Equine Industry Task Force reported Friday that the number of horses with the illness are nowhere near levels in 2001.
As last year's Kentucky Derby approached, pregnant mares across central Kentucky began delivering weak foals that needed days of medical treatment to survive if they lived at all. In addition to the deaths, thousands of mares lost early term pregnancies.
More than 3 percent of the state's 2001 foal crop was lost and the industry lost an estimated $350 million.
Researchers were optimistic that Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome would not reappear. Statistics released by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center show the center received four dead foals with signs similar to those which died last year.