AN ANIMAL sanctuary in Alhaurin el Grande has closed to prevent an equine flu outbreak spreading to its horses.
The CYD Santa Maria shelter said it closed after the Junta de Andalucia declared the outbreak earlier this month. It was declared after the virus was found in horses in Fuengirola.
The shelter, which is home to 250 horses, said the outbreak had already resulted in an upcoming competition in Britain being cancelled.
The Refugio del Burrito in Antequera has also closed.
“Our animals are too old and too sick to be able to fight off the virus,” the shelter said.
Concordia Marquez, head of the Alhaurin shelter, said staff would reopen it as soon as they received the all clear from the Junta.
Equine flu affected horse’s breathing organs and can also impact on their sight and smell. It kills around 80 per cent of infected animals.