Equine flu: British horses cleared to race in Ireland after outbreak

Clerk of Ludlow Racecourse Simon Sherwood said a deep clean is under way   Racing at Ludlow has been suspended   Hunting has been hit by the outbreak

Clerk of Ludlow Racecourse Simon Sherwood said a deep clean is under way Racing at Ludlow has been suspended Hunting has been hit by the outbreak

"After analysis of thousands of samples, and no further positive tests on Monday, we still only have two confirmed sites of infection".

The decision to resume racing was unanimously approved by the industry veterinary committee consulted by BHA, the authority said in a statement. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

The initial six cases were all from the yard of National Hunt trainer Donald McCain, while on Sunday night four positives were confirmed from the yard of Newmarket trainer Simon Crisford.

"We have developed a risk model, which the veterinary committee supports, in order to assist the return to racing".

'There is no risk to humans and strict biosecurity measures are in place'.

Racing was cancelled at Chelmsford City Racecourse following an outbreak of equine influenza.

The cancellation of race meetings raises significant concerns for United Kingdom bookmakers, as the blow to gambling income will subsequently result in the reduction of contributions paid to the industry via the betting levy.

The horses that tested positive on Wednesday had been vaccinated - which is mandatory for nearly all breeds used in racing - prompting fears of a widespread outbreak of a mutant strain of the disease.

The BHA's statement confirmed United Kingdom racing would resume with scheduled jump fixtures on Wednesday at both the Scottish course of Musselburgh and the Plumpton track near Brighton in southern England, alongside all-weather racing at Kempton, southwest of London, and Southwell in the English Midlands.

The British Horseracing Association (BHA) said on Monday that a "controlled, risk-managed" return would be permitted following a six-day hiatus. "This risk has been assessed and, based on the evidence - and ensuring biosecurity measures are in place - the level of risk is viewed as acceptable".

A total of 174 racing stables across the country have been placed in lockdown.

"The BEF continues to urge horse owners to be vigilant for symptoms of equine flu - coughing, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, lethargy - and call their vet if they think their horses are showing signs".

"All horses running will be required to have been vaccinated six months before the race day - this will increase the level of immunity by ensuring the vaccinations mitigate horses contracting the virus".

The authority also confirmed that testing had been carried out on the remaining 27 horses from the yard of Rebecca Menzies - where testing of three suspected cases came back negative on Saturday.