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Equine virus found in horse at Assiniboia Downs, other horses quarantined

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Assiniboia Downs is under a federal quarantine after a horse tested positive for an equine virus.

Darren Dunn, CEO of Assiniboia Downs, confirmed Friday one horse that recently arrived at the track was diagnosed with equine infectious anemia, a wasting disease that impacts horses and is spread by blood.

“It triggered an immediate quarantine,” he said.

The horse was immediately isolated. Dunn said it has since been humanely euthanized.

He added 60 other horses in the barn have since tested negative.

“We’re confident this is an isolated case and under control. However, out of an abundance of caution, the balance of the horse population, another 380, will be tested today,” Dunn said.

Dunn added that after 45 days, the horse population will be retested.

According to the CEO, this is the first horse to test positive with the virus at Assiniboia Downs in 31 years.

Due to the quarantine, the horses cannot enter or leave the facility, which will have an impact on races.

“We normally also have a couple hundred horses transition in and out, so it’s going to limit our field size for a bit,” Dunn said. “We had some scratches the other day on one of our race cards. That’s normalized now, but we’re going to be under the effect of not having the full field size we normally have without having access to outside horses.”

The CFIA said there is no risk to humans from equine infectious anemia.

-With files from CTV's Katherine Dow 

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