Australia Import Ban To Change Tuesday

The Australia import ban on horses from England and Ireland, put in place last week because of the foot and mouth disease outbreak, may soon be lifted, the Australian Associated Press reported Monday.

The AAP said the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service is expected to either lift or greatly change the ban on Tuesday.
Members of the Australian Thoroughbred industry have been vocal in their opposition to the ban, which if still in effect in July and August would impact shuttle stallions traveling from Europe for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season. Australia is the only country without a confirmed case of the disease to place a ban on imported horses.

Australian Horse Industry Council chairman Rob Hoare told the AAP instead of the ban, disinfection procedures and the existing quarantine measures should prevent the disease from entering the country. The AQIS will begin inspecting every one of the 7,000 shipping containers that arrive in Australia each day. Normally, only 50% are examined.

The number of confirmed cases of foot and mouth in England is about 300, with roughly 300,000 animals destroyed.