Only 114 days following the discovery of equine influenza (EI) at Centennial Park in Sydney, Australia, 66 sale horses from New South Wales will make the journey across the Murray River into Victoria on Monday, according to the minister for primary industries, Ian Macdonald.
“Today marks another milestone in our battle against EI, and our efforts to get the state’s horse industries back on their feet,” Macdonald told the Australian Thoroughbred News online. “The horses will be transported by truck from a William Inglis and Son quarantine facility at Newmarket this afternoon to a quarantine facility in Victoria, arriving early Tuesday morning. This is the first legal movement of horses into Victoria since the outbreak, and more will follow, not only Thoroughbreds but horses from other disciplines.
“We will continue to work with the entire horse industry, including the leisure, equestrian, and racing sectors to ensure things get back to normal as quickly as possible. This group of horses is the first to meet tough new inter-state travel biosecurity protocols.”
According to Macdonald, each horse has been tested at a NSW DPI laboratory and is disease free, blood tests from each horse have been returned with strong antibodies showing the presence of immunity, each horse is from a property that has been scientifically designated as EI free through resolution testing, and each truck will be decontaminated twice in Sydney before horses are loaded.
In NSW, the number of equine properties infected with the virus has dropped from over 5,000 to 2,554. Over 45,000 doses of horse flu vaccine have been utilized as a preventative measure by the state government’s control and eradication campaign.—Blood-Horse staff