In one study two cases of premature expulsion of the placenta were recorded among 60 supervised calvings (3.3 per cent); both calves died. In a second study, 47 cases were recorded among 332 cases of perinatal mortality (14.2 per cent). The condition was associated with fetal malpresentation and malposture, and mortality either before or during parturition. There was no significant relationship between the occurrence of premature expulsion of the placenta and parity, calving difficulty, previous calving history or the sex of the calf. The condition in cattle is compared with placenta praevia in women.