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  1. ITV Report

Horse racing to resume on Wednesday after equine flu scare

Horse racing in Britain had been shut down for six days. Credit: PA

Horse racing in Britain is set to resume following an outbreak of equine flu.

Racing will recommence on Wednesday after all events were suspended when six horses returned positive tests last week.

The British Horseracing Authority announced on Monday that, despite four more positive tests being found on Sunday, that it was safe to resume.

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott estimated the six-day lock down would have caused losses of approximately £3 million to the industry.

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BHA chief executive Nick Rust, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, 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.

"There is an unprecedented level of equine flu at the moment, that was one of the considerations.

"We were concerned about the threat of this and the impact and disruption it would have on racing in the longer term if we didn't understand it fully.

170
Number of yards which had been placed into lockdown

"We have done several thousand tests since then, swabs from 140-odd stables from across the country.

"We are pleased it is contained to two yards and that, under certain controls, we can return to racing.

"We didn't want to take any risks with future race meetings and with all known advice, we took the decision we did in the best interests of returning to racing."

Racing will now take place at Kempton, Musselburgh, Plumpton and Southwell as planned on Wednesday, but special measures will be in place.