January 15, 2008

The Australian Horse Industry Council is running a second surveying to assess the economic impact of the equine flu outbreak.

Council president Barry Smyth described the first survey as a very informative exercise, saying it highlighted the profound and widespread impact of the emergency on the national horse industry in the first six weeks of the outbreak.

"The information gained was passed on to the Commonwealth and State Governments to alert them to the plight of many industry participants," he said. "It enabled governments to allocate much-needed funds to assist the horse industry to get through the crisis.

"This is a follow-up survey to get an idea of the amount of economic impact over the past four months or so.

"The information gained will be essential for the AHIC in our interactions with governments on behalf of the horse industry."

He said there will be a need for continued financial and other support over the coming months, even if equine flu is eradicated in the next couple of months.

"This information will also be essential in making submissions to governments about future assistance to the horse industry should an emergency disease situation arise again. This economic information will supplement that gained from other AHIC surveys."

The survey questions relate to individual, business, and not-for-profit organisation losses and costs arising from the outbreak.