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Donald McCain confirms three positive equine flu tests are from his yard

Trainer Donald McCain
Image: Donald McCain has confirmed three of his horses tested positive for Equine Influenza

Trainer Donald McCain has confirmed the three horses to test positive for Equine Influenza are from his Cheshire yard.

McCain had runners at Ludlow and Ayr on Wednesday and the British Horseracing Authority confirmed a yard involved at both meetings had seen three of their horses go down with Equine Influenza.

None of the three horses to test positive were sent to the races on Wednesday, Sky Sports News understands.

Racing at Doncaster, Ffos Las, Huntingdon and Chelmsford on Thursday was called off as a result, with the BHA yet to confirm if there will be any more postponements to avoid the disease spreading any further.

British horses have been stopped from running in Ireland until further notice and Wolverhampton have already called off their meeting on Saturday as a precaution - McCain had a runner on the flat there on Monday.

"I have been aware of the recent news about equine influenza outbreaks in France and Ireland, and over the last couple of days, I have been concerned about the health status of a small number of horses in the yard," McCain said in a statement issued through the National Trainers' Federation.

"Their welfare is at the front of our minds so at my request our veterinary surgeon examined them regularly & we have followed his advice on testing and treatment. It was by following this protocol the positive results for equine flu came to light Wednesday evening.

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"The BHA were contacted immediately and we are liaising closely with them about biosecurity and management of all the horses at Bankhouse.

"Bankhouse follows all the available advice on disease control and all our horses are fully inoculated. We are scrupulous about observing the health status of horses in our care and taking the necessary steps to treat any condition that may affect them. It follows we would never race any horses that we could have known were infected.

"Over the last two months, all potential runners have been scoped and their blood checked within 36 hours of their races to ensure that only healthy horses compete for the yard.

"When new horses arrive at our yard we, as much as possible, try to keep them separate but at this stage cannot know if the infection came from recent arrivals or from horses returning from racing. We have three confirmed cases and this morning have taken blood and swabs from all the others for testing."

BHA Director of Equine Health and Welfare David Sykes added: "We would like to thank Donald McCain for his cooperation in this matter, and for the responsible manner in which he has dealt with this issue, under the guidance of his veterinary surgeon.

"He has acted professionally with the interests of the racing industry and the health of his horses as his priority."

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