Thursday races in Britain cancelled over equine flu

07 Février, 2019, 21:58 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Equine Influenza strikes Britain

Could the Cheltenham Festival or Aintree Grand National meeting be affected?

A major outbreak of equine flu in Australia in 2007 led to widespread cancellation of racing including the Sydney Spring Carnival and cost the industry millions of dollars.

Racing is going ahead in Ireland but British horses have been barred from being entered in races in Ireland for the time being.

Bosses at Dunstall Park announced the move to abandon the Saturday evening meeting as the probe into the outbreak was being investigated today.

Part of what's scaring people so much about this recent diagnosis of equine flu is the fact that the horses who have tested positive for the disease had been previously vaccinated against it.

The British Horseracing Authority reported horses from the infected yard raced at Ludlow and Ayr on Wednesday, adding identification of the virus in vaccinated animals presented a "cause for significant concern".

"Trainers support a precautionary approach and we thank them for the collaborative manner in which they have worked with us to address this unfolding situation".

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A plan will be constructed for the rescheduling of key races - and those which may provide important opportunities for horses to run - which are lost during this period.

In a statement, the BHA said: "This precautionary approach is meant to ensure we put the health of the horse population and control of the virus first, and avoid any unnecessary risk that might come from returning to racing too quickly".

It's not usually fatal if the infected horse is healthy and fully grown, however foals, pregnant mares, and horses who are already sickly are particularly vulnerable to equine flu, and could die as a result of exposure to the disease.

"Over the last two months, all potential runners have been scoped and their blood checked within 36 hours of their races to ensure that only healthy horses compete for the yard".

"We have three confirmed cases and this morning have taken blood and swabs from all the others for testing".

"He has acted professionally with the interests of the racing industry and the health of his horses as his priority".

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