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Report: Horse flu in Australia spreads

Sept. 5, 2007 at 5:08 PM

SYDNEY, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Three more thoroughbreds in New South Wales, Australia, have been struck down by equine influenza virus.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday the illness has affected 1,300 horses, affecting the country’s entire horse racing industry.

The newspaper reported the latest victim as Black's a Fake, winner of the past two Inter Dominions and almost $2 million in career earnings.

Black’s a Fake was one of seven horses to test positive to the virus at the Gold Coast property of trainers Natalie Rasmussen and Bill Dixon.

The report added there are fears of a breeding delay of up to two years likely to cost many millions of dollars.

"The thoroughbred industry is really under the hammer -- we're talking tens of millions of dollars," NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald told the paper Wednesday.

"It's possible we could lose one or two years of breeding out of this situation. It looks pretty bleak."

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