Dubai World Cup Issues Foot and Mouth Statement

Dubai World Cup officials issued the following statement Thursday regarding foot and mouth disease in the country and its affect on runners in the Dubai World Cup Day races:

International representatives in Dubai for the Dubai World Cup meeting at Nad Al Sheba on March 24 are under no risk, with officials for the Ministry of Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates moving quickly to dispel fears of a possible outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the country.

Reports have been circulated worldwide of an outbreak of foot and mouth in the UAE, however Tom Morton, veterinary advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture on equine matters, wished to emphasize that the suspect case was found in imported cattle in an import slaughterhouse in Al Ain, some 150 kilometers of open desert from Dubai.
The Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to restrict movement from the area and is carrying out a full investigation into the case.

Morton also reiterated the fact that based on advice from the Foot and Mouth Reference Laboratory in the United Kingdom steps were taken, several weeks ago, to introduce a disinfection protocol for all horses arriving from the European Union. With this in place the risk of horses contracting the disease is considered negligible.

Morton also stressed the quarantine facilities that the Dubai World Cup horses are housed in are such that the risk of them coming in contact with this or any other disease is equally negligible.

These facilities have been visited and inspected by veterinary authorities from a number of countries including Australia and are considered some of the best in the world.

All horses in the Emirates for the Dubai World Cup meeting are held in separate regional groups with horses from the European Union in a separate quarantine facility 1,500 meters away from the other groups.

Their training times are separate and there is no contact between horses from different regions until race night.
Morton said that foot and mouth disease would not survive under this regime, let alone be passed onto other horses or transported by horse returning home.