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Cornwall horse positive to swamp fever
13:04 AEST Thu Oct 4 2012

A horse in Cornwall has tested positive for Equine Infectious Anaemia, commonly known as "swamp fever", the same condition that has closed down Cologne racecourse in Germany.

Last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Danedream is housed at Cologne, along with over 300 other horses and all of them have been grounded for 90 days in quarantine, meaning Peter Schiergen's filly cannot defend her title in Paris on Sunday.

Defra, the government's department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said the Cornwall horse infected by the viral disease normally spread by insects, was a non-thoroughbred and had been put down, with restrictions placed and others being tested.

Professor Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare for the British Horseracing Authority, said the Cornwall case was not one that should affect racing.

"We are aware that a case of Equine Infectious Anaemia has been detected in a horse in Cornwall. However, we would like to reassure racing followers that this is a situation which should not affect the British racing industry," Morris said in a statement.

"The incident is not in close proximity to any racing yard and can only be spread by biting flies so a quarantine zone of only 200 metres is required to control the disease.

"Our links with Defra ensure that we have the structure in place to react to incidents of this nature effectively, though this does again stress the importance of taking disease in racing seriously."