Horse racing at Doncaster cancelled due to equine flu outbreak

Horse racing at Doncaster cancelled due to equine flu outbreak

If the shutting down of racecourses amid an outbreak of horse flu seems like an extreme reaction, Jim Tipp thinks otherwise.

McCain said: "We are scrupulous about observing the health status of horses in our care and taking the necessary steps to treat any condition that may affect them".

Horse racing across the United Kingdom has been banned today, Thursday, in a bid to stop the spread of a serious disease. "It will just stop". It is rarely fatal, though it can lead to complications including pneumonia and some horses can take several weeks, or even months, to recover fully from an infection.

There have been multiple outbreaks of horse flu in the United Kingdom and Europe in recent weeks, affecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated horses alike.

An outbreak of equine flu has forced the cancellation of all British racing on Thursday until February 13 at the earliest, after three horses tested positive for the virus, despite having been vaccinated against it.

"It is pretty significant".

A further call will be made on Monday, meaning Saturday's meetings at Newbury and Warwick are among those to be cancelled in the coming days.

It said: "It was not a request specific to Wolverhampton". BHA procedures state that a racecourse can not race for at least four days following a deep clean having taken place.

Equine flu is a highly contagious viral disease.

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"But until we know the complete extent over the next few days of the distribution of the virus, we won't know exactly where we are". There have been no confirmed cases as yet in the West Midlands.

It also impacted the New South Wales racing and breeding industries for eight months, costing close to a billion Australian dollars to eradicate.

Dr Malgorzata Behnke is a senior lecturer in animal and veterinary sciences at Harper Adams University.

Although symptoms can be mild in vaccinated horses, the virus can be very risky to unvaccinated horses, although it is rarely fatal.

"I'm nervous - it will be very interesting to see if any other horses have been challenged by it", he added.

As a result, outbreaks are extremely rare, but the fact that all three of the horses affected at McCain's stable had been vaccinated prompted immediate concern that a new strain of the disease could spread rapidly through the racing industry.

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

"Horses are shedding, or passing on, the virus while they are displaying symptoms, and that goes right up until they are clear".

'The problem will be how do you test all the horses. "We have three confirmed cases and this morning have taken blood and swabs from all the others for testing".

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