Sidmouth donkeys out of quarantine after equine flu outbreak
PUBLISHED: 11:10 14 February 2019
Sidmouth's donkeys have left quarantine after the outbreak of equine flu in the UK.
The Donkey Sanctuary made the decision at the weekend to close many of its sites as a precaution before reopening today (Thursday)
The popular attraction, which is home to hundreds of donkeys, said none of its animals have been affected by the outbreak and will be under inspection by staff.
A Donkey Sanctuary spokesperson said: “Our resident donkeys are not affected by this outbreak, but we’re keeping a very close eye on them.
“Footpaths around the charity’s new arrivals unit will be closed, including the maze, cottage barn and the Poitou barn.
“Visitors are not at risk from Equine Influenza, but they can be transmitters of the virus which is why we’re encouraging them to be bio-secure by providing foot dips and hand sanitisers for them to use.”
It means, the charity’s half-term fun will continue including the launch of its ‘Golden Carrot Hunt’ as part of its golden anniversary celebrations. Visitors will have the chance to follow clues around the sanctuary to find a treasure chest full of golden carrots.
The hunt is available daily between 9am and 5pm and runs from tomorrow (Saturday, February 16), until Friday, April 5.
Each hunt costs £3 and includes a ‘golden’ prize on completion.
During the week, the charity’s sites in Birmingham, Ivybridge, Leeds and Manchester were also closed.
Equine flu is very similar to the human strain of the virus and is very contagious to horses, donkeys and mules and range in symptoms.
The symptoms include very high temperature lasting up to three days, frequent harsh, dry cough that can last for several weeks, clear, watery nasal discharge that may become thick and yellow or green.
Further effects of the flu can cause an enlarged glands under the lower jaw, clear discharge from the eyes and redness, depression and loss of appetite.
Across the UK, a six day shut down was put in place in the racing world, while horses were put into quarantine.