Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
Sport | By

Equine flu: Brit horse racing will resume tomorrow after flu outbreak

Equine flu: Brit horse racing will resume tomorrow after flu outbreak

A decision will be made on Monday (local time) if racing in the United Kingdom will resume this Wednesday, after confirmation four horses have tested positive to equine influenza.

British racing has been on hold since Wednesday, following three cases of the highly-infectious disease being found at a stable in Chesire.

Four meetings can go ahead in Musselburgh, Plumpton, Southwell, and Kempton, the BHA said.

Dunshea said analysis of "thousands of samples, and no further positive tests on Monday", led the BHA to conclude that the outbreak was confined to two sites, around which "robust containment measures" have been established.

Around 700 tests a day are being conducted, with the Animal Health Trust prioritising horses considered most at risk.

The prospect of racing returning quickly has divided the sport and while there was some optimism after the positive results from the weekend, realistically many are expecting the ban to be extended.

"This risk has been assessed and, based on the evidence - and ensuring biosecurity measures are in place - the level of risk is viewed as acceptable", he added.

Racing has continued in Ireland, without British runners, but the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board said: 'Runners from Great Britain will be permitted to race in Ireland with immediate effect provided they comply with the IHRB requirements'. The statement read, "We are finalising overnight which category individual trainers will now be placed in".

"What was interesting was that David Sykes, who is the chief vet here, and his line was the although equine flu wouldn't be as risky to horses as say, for example herpes or strangles, it's contagious nature meant it was like a bushfire".

This is the news after an unsettling week and nervy Monday night while the BHA wrestled with letting racing resume following the equine flu outbreak. Obviously, by definition, they will only be coming from yards which aren't under restriction from the BHA. Earlier in the day, the stable had sent runners to races in Ayr, on Scotland's west coast, and Ludlow, near England's border with Wales, where they mingled with other horses from stables based all over the country.

In a statement, he said none of the four horses who tested positive displayed any clinical signs of respiratory illness prior to the mandatory swabbing undertaken last Friday.

"All horses at Kremlin House Stables, totalling 92 boxes, undergo a strict vaccination check and programme on their arrival". All four identified horses have been vaccinated within the last six months, along with the rest of the yard and in line with protocol'.

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