Australia Lifts Ban on European Imports

The Australian Government has lifted its temporary suspension on the movement of Thoroughbreds to Australia from Europe.

The official announcement came May 17 through Biosecurity Australia, a department of the Government agency covering agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

It means that Danehill and the other 36 stallions scheduled to shuttle to Australia in early August can proceed.

With the announcement, Biosecurity listed eight "stringent conditions" regarding the transport of Thoroughbreds. They include the stipulation that the 21-day mandatory pre-embarkation quarantine be undertaken in a country which currently has no outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

As late as yesterday, calls to have the temporary ban removed were voiced by industry leaders who supported their plea with scientific evidence and assurance that horses properly quarantined posed little to no threat of introducing FMD into Australia. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) had earlier in the week urged Biosecurity to drop the ban because of a lack of scientific evidence that horses could transmit FMD.

The irony is that just as one door opens, another may shut. Australian Quarantine authorities are watching developments in the recent outbreak of the reproductive loss syndrome in Kentucky.