Three new cases of swamp fever found in Ireland.Byline: By Brian Fleming
IRISH racing was on the edge of a "very serious situation" last night after three more cases of the deadly equine disease swamp fever swamp fever: see leptospirosis. were confirmed by the government, while it emerged that a licensed trainer in the south of the country had two suspected cases.
Although racecourses are not yet on red alert over closure, and the movement of bloodstock bloodstock
Noun 1. bloodstock - thoroughbred horses (collectively)
breed, strain, stock - a special variety of domesticated animals within a species; "he experimented on a particular breed of -including shuttle stallions - is not yet threatened, Horse Racing Ireland Horse Racing Ireland is the governing body of horse racing on the island of Ireland. Like several other sports, horse racing is run on an All Ireland basis, so Horse Racing Ireland is responsible for racing in both the Republic of Ireland, which has 25 racecourses, and in Northern moved to stress the serious nature of the first outbreak of the disease in Ireland.
The trainer in question, who did not want to be named, said: "While I've had three negative tests on a mare and two negative on the foal foal
a junior horse from birth to one year. May be filly foal, colt foal.
see enzootic equine incoordination. , they are very sick and have all the symptoms. I'm still awaiting further results, but it doesn't look good.
"I'm locked in and my farm is restricted by the Department of Agriculture. I have to test all my horses every 14 days for 90 days until they are clear. My business is going down the tubes."
Brian Kavanagh, HRI's chief executive, underlined the threat after the latest findings of equine infectious anaemia anaemia
see anemia. , or swamp fever, brought the number of horses diagnosed to 12.
He said: "This is a potentially very serious situation for racing, but the latest three cases were expected by the department as they had been in contact with other infected horses."
With the seven-day Galway festival set to get under way on Monday, Kavanagh outlined measures in place to contain the infectious disease Infectious disease
A pathological condition spread among biological species. Infectious diseases, although varied in their effects, are always associated with viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites and aberrant proteins known as prions. .
He said: "We have been working closely with the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, the Irish Trainers' Association, the Turf Club and the Department of Agriculture. They are taking every precaution necessary to control this situation.
Kavanagh is hopeful the additional cases are all interlinked to the original case.
"The latest findings were not unexpected and thankfully the department have good form in these situations with the way they handled the foot and mouth outbreak a few years ago. They have two excellent vets working round the clock in Pat Brangan and Michael Sheridan."
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture and Food said yesterday: "The results received last evening were in horses that had been identified as high risk because of their contact with earlier positive cases, so the new cases didn't come as any surprise."
Following on from the 12 reported cases from in excess of 2,300 tests carried out, the department has restricted 13 individual premises as well a further 280 individual horses, whose premises are not restricted.
Troytown Veterinary Hospital, where the first case was diagnosed last month, has taken the decision to close, meaning any inmates are forced to remain within the complex.
Philip Mitchell, head of Irish operations at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, which has two Irish stud farms in Kilcock and Kilcullen, said: "We haven't any cases but we do have a yearling locked in at Troytown who was operated on for a twisted gut.
"They have been badly hit by this unfortunately, but our yearling is perfectly healthy and had a negative test." Bloodstock Desk, page 20