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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019

Boost for horse racing as no new equine flu positives discovered

BHA director of equine health and welfare estimates that there has been 1,500 negative tests in recent days.

Equine flu: Preventative measures were in place at Naas on Saturday.
Equine flu: Preventative measures were in place at Naas on Saturday.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THE PROSPECT OF horse racing resuming in Britain on Wednesday was given a boost on Sunday morning when the BHA’s director of equine health and welfare David Sykes revealed testing had not uncovered any new cases of equine influenza.

While racing has continued in Ireland no action has taken place in Britain since Wednesday, when the highly contagious virus was discovered among three horses in the Donald McCain yard.

A wide-ranging testing process was implemented and the only six horses based at a licensed training premises to test positive have been at McCain’s stable.

The number of negative tests stood at 720 on Saturday night. That remains the official figure but Sykes estimated an unconfirmed 1,500 swabs have returned negative.

Speaking on Racing TV’s Luck on Sunday show, Sykes said: “I can happily report that we’ve not had any other positive tests except for the horses in the Donald McCain stable, so presently all tests have returned negative up until when I was in contact with the laboratory last night at 9.30pm.

“The Animal Health Trust in the last three days has done as many flu swabs as they would do in a year. They have been working from 8am to nine at night, Saturday and Sunday, to process all of these samples. We’re looking at somewhere around 1,500 samples being all negative so far.”

- Brian Fleming

 - For more visit the Racing Post 

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