British racing halted by EI outbreak | TDN

EI outbreak halts British racing

"The reason the British Horse Racing Authority requires all horses to be vaccinated is that a flu outbreak will stop horse racing".

Horse owners have been urged to get their animals vaccinated against equine flu as soon as possible after an outbreak caused British racing to be cancelled until at least Wednesday.

Humans do not get infected with equine influenza, however humans can physically carry the virus on their skin, hair, clothing and shoes and can therefore transfer the virus to other horses - they are transmitters of the virus. Symptoms include a high temperature, nasal discharge, a harsh cough and lack of appetite, and it can rule a racehorse out of action for...

The early precautions being taken over the last couple of days will incubate the industry as a whole against equine influenza.

Given our geographical closeness, perhaps Irish authorities should have followed suit, even if a few racing meetings were lost as a result.

The BHA is expected to make a further annoucnement on Monday announcing whether racing can continue after Wednesday, or whether the suspension will continue.

The Animal Health Trust has already identified seven cases in domestically-owned horses in a month in Yorkshire, Essex, Suffolk, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

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Ayr and Ludlow confirmed the BHA had ordered a "level 2 deep clean" which requires the racecourses to disinfect all facilities where horses were prepared pre- and post-racing.

"The action to cancel racing has been viewed as necessary in order to restrict, as far as possible, the risk of further spread of the disease", the BHA said.

"It can be quite serious, especially for a race horse, which might take six months to fully recover and return to racing", says the chief vet at Uttoxeter and Aintree racecourses, who is also chairman of Fyrnwy Equine Clinic at Baschurch in Shropshire.

"This may then allow declarations to take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday, with 24-hour declarations for all fixtures on this day, should racing be able to resume". "But at this stage, we can not know if the infection came from recent arrivals or from horses returning from racing". You will have to test all the other yards that had runners at Ayr and Ludlow. "We have three confirmed cases and this morning have taken blood and swabs from all the others for testing".

"When new horses arrive at our yard we try as much as possible to keep them separate, but at this stage can not know if the infection came from recent arrivals or from horses returning from racing".

ITV Racing, which had been due to cover both Newbury's valuable meeting and significant races at Warwick this weekend, said it will instead show five races from Naas in Ireland.

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