Horse racing canceled in Britain over equine flu outbreak

08 February, 2019, 20:42 | Author: Carlos George
  • Horse racing

One of those - Raise A Spark - finished last of four in his run at Ayr but showed no clinical signs on the day - his positive equine flu test was returned on Thursday.

We have an industry veterinary committee meeting scheduled for later on Thursday evening where we'll be briefed by the current state of play by the Animal Health Trust. According to the Racing Post, trainer Donald McCain said his stable was the source of the outbreak.

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

The decision comes after three vaccinated horses in an active yard tested positive for the disease.

The governing body's statement added: "The BHA is presently communicating with yards potentially exposed to ensure appropriate quarantine and biosecurity measures are put in place and horse movements restricted to avoid possible further spread of the disease".

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that racing will not resume until next Wednesday at the earliest amid the equine flu outbreak. "This action was taken to mitigate the impact of any of the runners which competed at these fixtures being found to be infected by the virus".

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".

"When new horses arrive at our yard we, as much as possible, try to keep them separate", McCain said in a statement. "This will all form part of the picture that is built in order to assist the decisions that will be made on Monday".

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Symptoms in humans include a high fever, coughing, nasal discharge and sometimes swelling of the lymph nodes.

How long is the shutdown?

All horse racing in Britain has been cancelled until at least Wednesday, February 13.

Only two events have cancelled the Cheltenham Festival in the past; the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis, and the second World War. At least 23 races will not take place in the next week.

Bookies up and down the country are slashing odds on this year's Cheltenham Festival being cancelled.

Many in the horse racing industry are concerned about whether the Cheltenham Festival will go ahead.

What races will be affected?

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