15 Jul '11, 5am

Horse Racing: Hendra virus fears hit Australia racetracks

SYDNEY: Australian racing officials ordered an inspection of more than 100 racetracks Friday after a Hendra virus health scare at Sydney's Randwick Racecourse. Racing New South Wales chief Peter V'Landys said parts of the prestigious course had already been sealed off due to their proximity to large fruit bat colonies and similar measures could be taken at the state's other tracks. "What we're doing is a risk assessment to see if there are bats at race courses and training facilities," said V'Landys. "If there are, we'll put in place biosecurity measures to make sure there's no exposure... we're doing a complete audit to make sure." No weekend races would be cancelled, he stressed. The audit follows a Hendra scare at the Randwick stables, where an ill thoroughbred was thought to have contracted the deadly virus. Tests cleared it of Hendra infection, but V'Landys said the i...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_sports/view/11...

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