New Zealand Tests Imports for Equine Flu

New Zealand is re-testing U.S.-exported horses for equine influenza.

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand is retesting samples taken from horses imported directly from the United States to the Karaka quarantine facility due to conflicting test results that indicate the presence of equine influenza, the Sportsman of Australia has reported.

The racing and sports newspaper said 10 horses imported from the U.S. in late March have had conflicting test results for equine influenza. The horses tested negative prior to export but turned up positive when in quarantine in New Zealand.

All the horses appear healthy and have shown no symptoms of disease, Clive Gower-Collins, an executive with MAB Biosecurity New Zealand, told the Sportsman. “There is a strong indication that cross-contamination in the laboratory was the reason for the positive results,” he said. “The laboratory will be conducting further tests (the weekend of April 5) to confirm that this is so.”

The New Zealand horse population is not at risk, officials said.