WITH horse racing set to resume today (Wednesday) in Britain following cases of Equine Influenza, one Whitchurch business has spoken of the impact of the outbreak on its work.

More than 170 yards were placed in lockdown since last Thursday after the first confirmed cases from Cholmondeley's Bankhouse Stables, home of Donald McCain's horses, while more cases were confirmed in England, Ireland, France and Germany.

Stallion AI Services, which is based on the outskirts of the town, is a world leader in horse insemination and is currently housing, for stud, one of the biggest names in the history of the sport, Big Star.

Tullis Matson, who runs the yard which has the biggest collection of horses outside Newmarket, says he and his staff have stepped up their already-watertight protocols to ensure that none of their horses caught the virus.

"We're a quarantine centre anyway because of we're an exporter of horses and we're extra careful, especially as we have Big Star with us right now," he said.

"We had a big conference at our facility on Thursday and there were lots of vets with their phones all going off all the time.

"There have been cases found in Ireland, France and Germany so it's across Europe, but it's possible more will come out than we think, but we don't really know how much.

"I had a meeting with our vet and our HR manager to discuss the way forward.

"We have two biosecurity systems – internal and external. We're normally happy with our internal biosecurity but for our external, we have gone up a level.

"Normally, the horses temperatures are taken three times a week, and it's the same with disinfecting their boxes.

"Now they're having that done every day and we've raised our internal to a level two, and we can go to level three if we think there's an infection here.

"The way it can go is the staff who work with horses and then come inside are now changing clothes each time they come back in.

"It used to be just jackets and shoes, but now it's all clothes, plus we've got the foot baths, but we always have that high security."

Mr Matson added he would have review his business's biosecurity if the outbreak became an epidemic, especially if more cases were found outside of horse racing but within the horse sport industry.