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Horse racing cancelled after equine flu outbreak
BHA said the fact that cases were seen in vaccinated horses ‘presents a cause for significant concern’. (Stock photo)
Concern after three cases confirmed in vaccinated horses 

Horse racing on all British racecourses has been cancelled today (7 February) after an outbreak of equine influenza among vaccinated horses.

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) confirmed three positive cases in horses at an active racing yard.

According to the British Horseracing Authority, which took the decision to cancel today’s racing, horses from the infected yard raced at Ayr and Ludlow yesterday, potentially exposing a significant number of horses from yards across the country and in Ireland.

In a statement, BHA said the fact that cases were seen in vaccinated horses ‘presents a cause for significant concern over welfare and the potential spread of the disease’.

The outbreak follows reports of a number of cases across Europe and the UK, including several in vaccinated horses.

Work has been done to identify which yards could have been exposed yesterday and to take necessary actions. BHA is communicating with yards to ensure quarantine and biosecurity measures are put in place, as well as restricting horse movements to avoid possible further spread of the disease.

The full extent of potential exposure is currently unknown but BHA said it is working quickly, alongside AHT, to understand as much as possible. Any trainer with concerns about the health of their animals should contact their vet.

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."