Medicine

Horse racing at Doncaster cancelled due to equine flu outbreak

Horse racing at Doncaster cancelled due to equine flu outbreak

Trainer Donald McCain looks on ahead of the Cheltenham Festival during a media open day at his Bankhouse Stables on February 26, 2013 in Cholmondeley, Cheshire.

However, the statement added that runners from Britain would not be permitted to race in Ireland until further notice.

The BHA, with full backing from the multi-billion pound industry's veterinary committee, said it took the dramatic decision after being informed by the Animal Health Trust of three confirmed influenza positives from vaccinated horses in an active racing yard.

The loss of Musselburgh's richest ever jumps meeting on Sunday because of a UK-wide alert about an equine flu outbreak is "a real, real shame", the clerk of the course has said.

Horses from the infected yard raced on Wednesday at Ayr and Ludlow, potentially exposing a significant number of horses from yards across the country and in Ireland.

Bosses at Dunstall Park announced the move to abandon the Saturday evening meeting as the probe into the outbreak was being investigated today.

Part of what's scaring people so much about this recent diagnosis of equine flu is the fact that the horses who have tested positive for the disease had been previously vaccinated against it. Declarations for Thursday would revert to the usual procedures.

"We appreciate the impact that this may have on the sport commercially, but disease control in order to mitigate the risk of further disruption to the sport - and safeguard the health and welfare of our horses - must be a priority".

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A plan will be constructed for the rescheduling of key races - and those which may provide important opportunities for horses to run - which are lost during this period.

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".

"Over the last two months, all potential runners have been scoped and their blood checked within 36 hours of their races to ensure that only healthy horses compete for the yard".

"Just think what might happen how rapidly that could go through the horse population".

A number of stables, including those of Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls, were placed on lockdown while further testing was undertaken on horses who might have come into contact with the McCain runners earlier in the week.

Donald McCain's yard was the only one represented at both tracks.

Nowadays, in this part of the world, equine flu has the biggest effect on the horse racing industry.


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