About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Australia to Hold 'Phantom' Horse Races to Offset Equine Flu Losses

by VR Sreeraman on August 30, 2007 at 4:28 PM
Font : A-A+

Australia to Hold 'Phantom' Horse Races to Offset Equine Flu Losses

Australian officials were Wednesday hoping to hold 'phantom' horse races, in which spectators and punters would be banned from the track, in a bid to offset losses from the equine influenza outbreak.

Horse race meetings around the country were banned last weekend after the first case of the highly contagious horse flu emerged in Sydney.


The outbreak has left the multi-billion dollar racing industry, as well as recreational horse riding, reeling and wiped millions in turnover from the major betting firms.

While the ban on meetings is expected to be lifted around most of the country in time for this weekend's races, it is likely to last weeks longer in New South Wales.

To counter the losses, Racing New South Wales wants to hold a "phantom" race meeting on September 8 at which 700 gallopers would hit the track at Royal Randwick in Sydney's east while bookies took bets from the Canterbury course across town.

Punters could either watch the races from screens set up at Canterbury or at betting agencies around the state.

Chief executive Peter V'Landys said the ploy was unusual but would suit those who only ever watched horse-racing on television.

"They'll be able to watch it at Canterbury and every TAB (betting agency) through New South Wales will be able to bet on it," he said.

By holding the races for horses stabled at Randwick racecourse, none of which have so far come down with the virus, the event would not break the nationwide ban on the movement of horses.

Meanwhile, officials were investigating how equine influenza breached strict quarantine measures to infect scores of animals and bring the horse-racing industry to a standstill.

"We have a comprehensive investigation under way," federal Agriculture Minister Peter McGuaran said.

"No stone's been left unturned to see if there was any breach of the border or the quarantine barriers erected on Australian soil."

The outbreak of the highly infectious virus, the first time the disease has been introduced to the country, has been linked to the arrival in Australia last week of a group of horses which had completed stud duties overseas.

New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said an inquiry was needed to determine the cause of the outbreak, which so far has infected more than 90 horses and placed hundreds more in quarantine.

"It's important we find how this breach occurred, how our biosecurity framework in Australia and New South Wales was breached so badly, because we could have other diseases that could get in here that have massive consequences upon our population and our agricultural industries," he said.

The equine influenza virus, which is so far contained in New South Wales and Queensland states, is believed to have infected hundreds of horses, but no racing thoroughbreds have yet come down with the illness.

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Flu Swine Flu Xenophobia 

Recommended Reading
Indian Riders Affected Due to Equine Influenza Outbreak in Australia
It's bad news for the five Indian riders who were to arrive here next Monday to participate in the ....
More Equine Flu Cases Put Australia's Horse-racing Industry in Jeopardy
Australian authorities said Monday they now suspected there were hundreds of cases of equine flu in ...
Australia Braces Itself For Horse Flu
Race meetings were cancelled across Australia in a bid to curb the spread of equine influenza...
Swine Flu
Swine flu, a type of influenza caused by a new strain of the H1N1 Type A influenza virus has origina...
Xenophobia can be studied from two different perspectives. First as a medical condition ‘phobia’ sec...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use