Latest statistics show that since the start of the year there have been seven outbreaks of equine flu in Essex, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Suffolk.
Equine influenza is a highly infectious disease that affects horses, mules and donkeys, occurring globally caused by strains of the Influenza A virus. All British horse racing meetings have been cancelled until Wednesday because of the outbreak. The outbreak is the biggest shutdown since the foot-and-mouth disease in 2001. A British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) statement yesterday said: “The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has this afternoon taken the decision that racing will not resume in Britain until Wednesday, February 13 at the earliest, including fixtures programmed by the Point-to-Point Authority. “The BHA’s veterinary team has today been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading. “Whilst no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.”