ALL owners have been urged to have their horses tested for equine ‘flu after the current outbreak among racehorses has been described as ‘the worst ever’ by experts.
This unexpected outbreak has caused racing to be cancelled in Britain, initially until next Wednesday, when the situation was set to be reviewed by officials, to see if the ban needs to be extended.
But yesterday (Friday) the BHA also revealed there was another suspicious case relating to a runner on the all-weather this week, that has led to another 50-plus yards being placed in lockdown.
Also there are fears that horses outside racing could be infected if they have been in the same environment as the affected horses.
As a result all horse owners have been urged to get their animals vaccinated against equine flu as soon as possible in order to protect them, especially if they are in the same area as racehorses.
This is thought to be the worst outbreak of horse disease since foot and mouth, with racing yards closed and racing stopped after the initial confirmations of the disease.
Following three confirmed cases in racing, more horses are expected to be confirmed with the disease in the coming days. It takes 48 hours for the disease to incubate, while it can be up to three days to get the test results back.
It is now less than five weeks before the start of this year’s Cheltenham Festival – the annual highlight of the National Hunt calendar, and this event could be under threat if there is any escalation in the numbers of racehorses affected by the disease.