Research to reduce equine pregnancy loss - call for survey participants

26 OCTOBER 2021

Research to reduce equine pregnancy loss - call for survey participants

Members from the equine industry are invited to participate in a survey to reduce mid-to-late-term pregnancy loss in Australian mares. The survey is looking to identify when and where mid-to-late-term equine pregnancy loss is occurring.

  • Researcher seeks participants from the equine industry for a survey on mid-to-late-term pregnancy loss in Australian mares
  • Survey addresses lack of information on when and where mid-to-late-term equine pregnancy loss is occurring
  • Information obtained aims to increase awareness of trends in equine pregnancy loss to reduce financial and health risks  

Charles Sturt University researcher seeks participants for a survey to understand trends associated with mid-to-late-term equine pregnancy loss in Australian mares.

Master of Philosophy research student at the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences Ms Claudia Macleay is conducting the research due to a current lack of information on when and where equine pregnancy loss is occurring.

The survey will investigate the current knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Australian horse breeders in relation to equine pregnancy loss.

The second part of the survey will capture information on the Australian mare population, including the number of mares that experience pregnancy loss.

Ms Macleay said there was lots of information available on the causes of equine pregnancy loss, however, the finer detail around these circumstances needed to be explored.

“Breeding a mare involves lots of time, effort and money,” Ms Macleay said.

“In addition to the economic fallout with equine pregnancy loss, horse breeders are at risk of catching zoonotic bacterial diseases from equine aborted material or stillborn foals, so there is also a human risk involved.”

Ms Macleay said the research will identify any clusters of equine pregnancy loss that require further investigation.

“The goal of breeding a mare is to produce a healthy foal which is why equine pregnancy loss is so frustrating,” she said.

“The data we collect in the survey will allow us to explore the risk factors involved in equine pregnancy loss, because when we know the risk factors, we can help breeders and those considering horse breeding to create plans and strategies to reduce pregnancy loss with their own mares.

“One day, this research may also be used to create an automatic disease surveillance system, similar to the ones used in the United Kingdom and United States.”

Ms Macleay encourages all current, past, and future horse breeders to participate in the research.

The online survey is completely anonymous. It will present a series of multiple-choice and short answer questions and the opportunity for participants to share their insights.

It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete the survey.

The survey is open now and closes on 10 December. Participants can access the survey here or by scanning this QR code.


Ms Macleay’s supervisory team includes Associate Professor in Veterinary Epidemiology Marta Hernandez-Jover, Associate Professor in Veterinary Epidemiology Jane Heller and Associate Professor in Equine Science Hayley Randle, of the Charles Sturt School of School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences


Media Note:

Media note: For further information or to arrange interviews with Ms Claudia Macleay, contact Trease Clarke at Charles Sturt Media on 0409 741 789 or news@csu.edu.au

Photo caption: Ms Mcleay and her horse Cindy. Click here to download the hi-res images of Ms Mcleay with Cindy.


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