Horse racing at Doncaster cancelled due to equine flu outbreak

Equine Influenza strikes Britain

Equine Influenza strikes Britain

Why is horse racing cancelled today in UK?

The trainer concerned is believed to be Donald McCain, whose Bankhouse Stables in Cheshire is home to more than 100 horses and is the only racing stable to send runners to both of Wednesday's National Hunt meetings.

Racing is still set to continue in Ireland, where Thursday's meeting at Thurles took place, but no entries from British stables will be accepted until further notice.

But the British Horseracing Authority has now taken the step to call off all meetings scheduled for the rest of this week and the first half of next week.

All racing has been cancelled in the United Kingdom on Thursday after one stable returned three confirmed Equine Influenza positives from vaccinated horses.

Equine influenza is a highly infectious disease of horses, mules and donkeys.

Symptoms include coughing, a high-fever, and nasal discharge.

Equine Influenza, which caused a devastating shutdown to the New South Wales racing industry in 2007, can be airborne over a reasonable distance and can be transmitted indirectly, including through humans.

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The BHA issued a statement on Wednesday night, saying that 'The fact that the cases have been identified in vaccinated horses presents a cause for significant concern over welfare'.

"The BHA has worked quickly to identify which yards could potentially have been exposed today and to identify the further actions required".

It was mentioned that they may need to put quarantine and biosecurity measures in place.

The outbreak at the infected yard follows the identification of a number of cases across Europe and the UK.

In a statement, the BHA said: "This approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday".

The cards at Huntingdon, Doncaster, Ffos Las and Chelmsford will not go ahead after an outbreak known to have affected at least three horses was discovered in a British trainer's yard.

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.

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