Norfolk equestrian centre closes after confirmed case of equine flu

File photo of a horse in action at Lime Kiln Farm in Thursford, north Norfolk. A case of equine flu

File photo of a horse in action at Lime Kiln Farm in Thursford, north Norfolk. A case of equine flu has been discovered at the centre. Picture: IMG Photography. - Credit: Archant

An equestrian centre in north Norfolk has been forced to close due to a case of equine flu.

Lime Kiln Farm in Thursford, near Fakenham, has shut and all half-term pony club competitions have been cancelled after a vet confirmed on Saturday, February 16, that a horse brought over from Ireland had the flu.

Alison Lee, who runs the centre, said: 'The horse in question first started to display symptoms on Thursday morning.

'We immediately put him into isolation and called our vet, who reassured us, as he thought it was nothing more than a snotty nose, however in the current climate he took swabs as a precaution and advised me to carry on as normal.'

Ms Lee said the horse had not left the yard and no other horses had shown symptoms. She said, however, the centre's other horses were being closely monitored and having their temperatures taken twice a day.

Ms Lee added: 'Naturally all competitions and arena hire will be suspended, with immediate effect. The vets have stressed that with correct management, there should be no further issues.

'We are now obviously not moving horses off or onto the yard.'

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Ms Lee said equine flu was 'endemic in the country all the time', and there had been two confirmed cases in Norfolk last summer, which were not publicised because it is not a notifiable disease.

She said there were currently about 22 horses at the centre and, other than the animal affected, all were fit and well.

Ms Lee said assuming it was an isolated case, the centre would be open again in two week's time.

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