British horse racing suspended until at least Wednesday

Leslie Hanson
February 8, 2019

"The British Horseracing Authority, with unanimous support of the BHA's industry veterinary committee, has taken the decision to cancel racing at all British racecourses on Thursday 7 February 2019", said the statement. The yard in question had runners at jump meetings at Ayr and Ludlow on Wednesday.

As a result, any trainer who ran a horse at those meetings has had restrictions placed on their movement.

Racing was called off at four venues on Thursday - Ffos Las, Huntingdon, Doncaster and Chelmsford - after three horses from Donald McCain's yard in Cheshire tested positive for the disease.

The BHA warned yesterday that horses from the yard raced at Ayr and Ludlow on Wednesday, exposing other animals, including some from Irish yards to the risk of infection.

Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board have released a joint-statement confirming that racing "will continue in Ireland at present" following the suspension of racing in Britain due to an equine flu outbreak.

But it added that "at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing".


Hose races have been cancelled all over Britain because it's come out that three horses in an active yard have been diagnosed with equine influenza. 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 potential further spread of the disease.

Equine influenza is a highly-infectious disease of horses which attacks the respiratory system with symptoms including high fever, coughing and nasal discharge, can be airborne over long distances and can be transmitted indirectly through humans.

Since the incubation period for equine influenza can be up to 72 hours, samples will be taken on Friday from horses that raced at Ayr and Ludlow and sent to the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket for analysis.

The BHA conceded "the full extent of potential exposure is unknown" but is working as fast as possible to gather information about any potential spread of the outbreak. We recommend that any trainer who has concerns about the health status of any of their horses should contact their veterinarian'.

The BHA played down fears the British outbreak could be as severe as the one in Australia in 2007, which brought the industry to a standstill in New South Wales and led to the cancellation of Sydney's spring carnival.

The disease is however being reported in vaccinated horses.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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