BHA gives green light for return to racing on Wednesday

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

Chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea outlined the protocols for what the BHA has described as "risk-managed return" to racing.

The BHA's Director of Equine Health and Welfare, David Sykes, said, "The BHA and the veterinary committee agree that, on balance, the level of risk is acceptable for a return to racing". Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

Crisford's stable had been identified for testing because he ran Sajanjl at Newcastle on February 5, a meeting which subsequently produced a "suspicious" but ultimately negative test for a runner from the Rebecca Menzies stable. We are working with the Thoroughbred Breeders Association and wider Newmarket community to attempt to contain the issue'. However, the BHA said racing would only resume with "strict biosecurity controls in place".

The BHA quickly enforced a cancellation of racing in Britain and confirmed a call would be made on Monday about whether scheduled fixtures at Southwell, Plumpton, Musselburgh and Kempton could take place on Wednesday. Fortunately, owing to the tireless efforts of the Animal Health Trust, trainers and their local vets, and BHA staff, the vast majority of yards which had been placed on hold will be in a position to resume racing.

A total of 174 racing stables were placed in lockdown, while thousands of horses were tested for the virus. Earlier in the day, the stable had sent runners to races in Ayr, on Scotland's west coast, and Ludlow, near England's border with Wales, where they mingled with other horses from stables based all over the country.

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"The veterinary committee is of the view that an unprecedented amount of this disease has been identified in Europe".

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.

Equine influenza produces symptoms similar to the human flu, including a cough and high temperature.

Speaking at a press conference in London on Tuesday morning, he said: "The decision last week was taken with a set of circumstances that suggested to us that we should lock down racing for several days so we could have a clear picture of the circumstances around the outbreak".

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.

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