WORCESTERSHIRE-based trainer Ian Williams says his yard is taking necessary precautions following the equine flu outbreak that has halted racing across the country.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) cancelled racing at all British racecourses until Wednesday (February 13) after three cases of the disease came to light.

Horses from an infected yard raced at Ayr and Ludlow, potentially exposing a significant number of animals across the country and in Ireland.

Williams' eight-year-old mare Pure Affection and six-year-old gelding Heresthething both ran at Ludlow on Wednesday.

"It's very much business as usual for the yard but we will be making sure that we are taking precautions, following the guidelines from the BHA and keeping any horse we had at Ludlow or Wolverhampton in isolation," said Williams, whose yard is based to the north of Redditch.

"We were contacted by the BHA because we had runners at Wolverhampton and Ludlow and I'm sure we'll have to undergo the necessary testing. We do keep up very high barrier security here, though, and have very vigilant staff.

"We all want to be racing but the action that's been taken is understandable. The overall integrity of our sport is more important than anything else."

Equine influenza is a highly-infectious disease of horses, mules and donkeys occurring globally caused by strains of Influenza A virus.

All British race horses are vaccinated against equine influenza but the strain discovered has affected vaccinated horses.

A BHA statement read: "The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has this afternoon taken the decision that racing will not resume in Britain until Wednesday, February 13 at the earliest, including fixtures programmed by the Point-to-Point Authority.

"The BHA’s veterinary team has today been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading. Whilst no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.

"The disease can take up to three days before symptoms are visible, meaning it will take until Sunday at the earliest before the BHA can gather all the information required. This approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday.

"This may then allow declarations to take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday, with 24-hour declarations for all fixtures on this day, should racing be able to resume. Declarations for Thursday would revert to the usual procedures."

It means Sunday's scheduled point-to-point meeting at Chaddesley Corbett is off.