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Horse racing in UK off until Wednesday at earliest over flu

February 7, 2019

LONDON (AP) — Horse racing in Britain has been canceled until at least Wednesday over an outbreak of equine flu.

The British Horseracing Authority said Thursday that no new positive cases have been received since it announced late Wednesday evening that three vaccinated horses in an active racing yard had flu. But it added that “at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.” That means “a fully formed decision can be made on Monday” on whether races can be held on Wednesday.

In a statement, the BHA said that “this precautionary approach is intended to ensure we put the health of the horse population and control of the virus first, and avoid any unnecessary risk that might come from returning to racing too quickly.”

In 2001, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease wiped out racing for two months in Britain, leading to the cancellation of the Cheltenham Festival, which is held every March.

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