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  1. ITV Report

Horse racing to resume following flu outbreak

Horses being exercised in Newmarket on Monday despite the outbreak of horse flu. Photo: ITV News Anglia

Racing will resume in Britain on Wednesday, following a six-day shutdown because of the outbreak of horse flu, the British Horseracing Authority has announced.

Four more case of equine influenza were found in Newmarket, the home of horse racing, at the weekend but training was continuing in the town.

The ruling body had placed over 170 yards into lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the highly-contagious virus, with all meetings last Thursday cancelled the previous night.

However, following a period of extensive testing and after seeking the advice of a series of veterinary experts, the BHA gave the go-ahead for a resumption late on Monday - but with strict biosecurity controls in place.

Horse racing has been in shutdown for six days following the flu outbreak. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The BHA's chief regulatory officer, Brant Dunshea, said: "Our approach since hearing about the first positive results last Wednesday has been based on accumulating as much information as we could as quickly as possible so we could properly understand the risks of this virulent strain of flu spreading to more horses.

"That would be harmful to them and damaging to any trainers' yards that became infected.

"It has also been our intention to ensure that we avoid an issue that could result in a long-term disruption to racing with the risk of many of our major events being unduly impacted."

– Brant Dunshea, BHA chief regulatory officer

Over the weekend it was announced around 1,500 tests had returned negative - but on Sunday evening it emerged four vaccinated horses from Simon Crisford's Newmarket yard had tested positive.