BHB and the Jockey Club are to maintain foot and mouth precautions for the foreseeable future. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has indicated that, whilst under control, the Foot and Mouth outbreak is not over and there remains a risk of flare-ups such as that in North Yorkshire, which started around Settle.
As racing involves movement of people and vehicles in and out of Infected Areas, disinfection procedures laid down in the industry’s tried, tested and successful Instructions and Guidelines must continue. The prospect is that racecourses, trainers, transporters and everyone attending race meetings will be required to continue present disinfection procedures for a number of months, possibly for many months to come. DEFRA is unable to give an indication of when they might recommend that Racing relaxes its controls.
In addition to the need to continue disinfection procedures, racing is still subject to the restriction that it must not be staged in Protection Zones (within 3km of an Infected Site) and horses trained within 1km of an Infected Site must not enter a racecourse. BHB continues to maintain its computer mapping data, which plots the location of all outbreaks and relates them to racecourse and training locations.
The process of replacing fixtures lost to Foot and Mouth restrictions also continues, and BHB can announce that Stratford will now race next Sunday, 1st July, replacing Uttoxeter, and Southwell will stage a two day flat turf fixture on 4th and 5th July. Also, the doubt over Chepstow’s fixtures on 5th and 7th July has just been removed, as it no longer falls into a Protection Zone.
Looking to the future, there is encouraging news from DEFRA concerning Uttoxeter, Catterick and Cartmel. Uttoxeter will be free to race at its next scheduled meeting on August 24th, and the sampling and testing required to consider removing the Protection Zones which currently encompass Catterick and Cartmel, is under way. DEFRA is providing regular updates to BHB and the Jockey Club on progress with these essential procedures but it is a little early to predict when the outcome of the tests will be known. Hopefully this will result in both racecourses being cleared to race again soon.
Carlisle is the other racecourse caught in a Protection Zone. It is situated in one of the areas which has seen most confirmed cases, so DEFRA has no immediate plans to start any sampling and testing. Unfortunately its fixtures in July and August will not take place and BHB is therefore considering how best to replace these opportunities.
For further information please contact Paul Greeves on 020 7343 3306