Two stables in Ireland quarantined over Equine flu fears
After an outbreak of equine flu in England that led to the cancellation of all of the weekend’s horse racing, two stables in Ireland have been quarantined over fears that the virus may be present there too.
One of the stables has reportedly been given the all clear, while the other is awaiting test results back for confirmation. It remains in lockdown until that time.
The Guardian reported today that two stables in Ireland are in lockdown and that authorities have chosen not to name the stables in the hope that other trainers will step forward should they also suspect the virus to be present at their stable.
Over the weekend, the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) confirmed a further four cases of equine flu at the Newmarket yard owned by Simon Crisford. In total, 174 stables in England were on lockdown.
Officials in Ireland were notified immediately on Wednesday after the first cases of the flu were confirmed, which has helped keep things less complicated there, since there has not been the risk of transmission through horses racing. Irish horses had run at Ayr on Wednesday, but with knowledge of the outbreak, trainers were able to keep those horses in isolation, as Lynn Hillyer, the Irish Horse racing Regulatory Board’s chief veterinary officer explains:
These were isolated, discrete events… The cases that we’ve had have not been racing. The trainers have shut down their yards and they haven’t had runners. That’s a key difference. There hasn’t been the racecourse risk of transmission that the British Horseracing Authority have had to face. We were able to act quickly in response to that information… The BHA didn’t have that luxury. The horses had gone home. So it really is apples and pears.–Lynn Hillyer, chief veterinary officer Irish Horse racing Regulatory Board
That led to racing taking place over the weekend in Ireland, though increased biosecurity measures were employed. Hillyer has encouraged any trainers that suspect they may have horses with any signs of flu to come forward.
The BHA will make an announcement on Monday regarding the resumption of races starting from Wednesday.