Louping ill is a zoonotic disease caused by a neurotropic, single-stranded, 40 to 50-nm RNA virus, which has been classified in the family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus.
Infection with a strain of louping ill virus from Spain was first reported for sheep in the Basque region of northern Spain in 1987.
FRANCE LOUPING D'AINAY is set to warm up for a possible tilt at the Grand National by running over hurdles at Auteuil a week on Sunday and, while the Francois Cottin-trained eight-year-old is unlikely to have regular rider Dean Gallagher in the saddle in France, the jockey is confident of being fit in time for Aintree, writes Desmond Stoneham.
He added: "I hope to be riding again in a couple of weeks at home, then in public by the start of April, so I should be spoton for Louping D'Ainay at Aintree.
The innocent looking moorland plant is thought to be a haven for ticks carrying the dreaded Louping Ill virus.
Estimates suggest that over 85pc of red grouse bitten by a Louping Ill-carrying tick, die within three weeks.
D'AINAY, top-weight for the Racing Post Chase at Kempton tomorrow week, is to miss the race, trainer Francois Cottin said yesterday.
Gallagher was a fitting winner of the Prix du President de la Republique, the rider taking the race dubbed France's Grand National aboard the Francois Cottin-trained Louping