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The Animal Health Trust has been given more than £100,000 by the Horserace Betting Levy Board to help finance its research on equine influenza

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) has received a substantial boost in its bid to combat equine influenza, with a 50% increase in funding of itssurveillance programme for the disease.

The Horserace Betting Levy Board has granted the AHT £109,000 specifically for its flu research over the coming year, which could help prevent a recurrence of the flu outbreak that blighted Newmarket inthe run up to the Guineas meeting.

Further cases were also recorded in Shropshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Norfolk, Yorkshire and Warwickshire, although there have been no fresh diagnoses since 28 April.

Research will focus on investigating the strain of virus implicated in the outbreak to try to work out why it affected vaccinated horses. The AHT will also improve its monitoring of emerging equine influenza viruses worldwide, to predict and minimise their impact.

A spokesman for the AHT said: “We are delighted with the increased grant, which will enable us to step up our surveillance programme. This is particularly relevant in the light of the recent outbreak among Thoroughbred racehorses.”

Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (29 May 2003), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.