THE British Horseracing Authority cancelled all race meetings on Thursday after three horses tested positive for Equine Flu on Wednesday.

The highly infectious disease could have a crippling impact on the racing industry.

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What is Equine Influenza?

Commonly known as Equine Flu, it is a highly infectious respiratory virus.

It can affect the upper and lower respiratory tract of horses and is similar to human flu – although it cannot be spread between horses and humans.

Once the virus has been inhaled it can cause a very sore throat and nasty cough.

It is not usually fatal for horses, although foals are at risk of death if they are infected.

THEY’RE ALL OFF Equine Flu outbreak causes all race meetings on Thursday to be cancelled

Why is racing cancelled?

Because Equine Flu is so infectious, all precautions must be taken to stop the disease spreading.

The three horses that tested positive for the Equine Flu on Wednesday had raced at Ludlow and Ayr putting those horses around them at risk.

What does it mean for racing?

It is not quite sure what will happen next as the severity of the outbreak must be assessed.

Racing is likely to be cancelled for a few more days as quarantine measures are put in place.

Will the Cheltenham Festival be cancelled?

Hopefully not! Officials should have the outbreak under control by then but it is worth taking a quick look back to 2007 in Australia when an outbreak of the virus there caused racing to be in lock down for over four months.

Equine flu outbreak means ALL UK horse race meetings being cancelled on Thursday over fears of infection

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