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Darren Bell will be able to resume operations on a limited basis

Queensland trainer Darren Bell will be able to resume operations on a limited basis with a quarantine ban lifted from one of his two barns where some horses tested positive to strangles.

Last month Bell told the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission three of his horses had tested positive for strangles and stewards ordered his Caboolture stables, 50km north of Brisbane, be shut down.

The trainer, who uses Deagon to work his horses, has two sets of stables on his property and the strangles was confined to one.

QRIC commissioner Ross Barnett said the highly contagious disease, which leaves horses with cold-like symptoms, was not life-threatening but could quickly spread.

“While ten horses in the affected barn will remain under quarantine until they recover, a second barn has been cleared after three rounds of negative tests.” Barnett said.

“Twelve horses in the cleared barn are now free to resume training or be moved out of the stable.

“The trainer has indicated that the majority of the twelve cleared horses will be sent for a short spell before returning to training at the Deagon track.”

Barnett said stringent biosecurity would remain in place at the infected barn until testing proved it was free of strangles.

“The health and welfare of racing animals is of the utmost importance and local trainers should be aware of the possibility of infection,” he said.

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