January 31, 2008

New South Wales' equine flu green zone will be rezoned white tomorrow in a move to ease restrictions on movement to areas of adjoining states by removing requirements for isolation and quarantine.

Movement of horses from the NSW white zone to Victoria will be a two-stage process.

Owners will need a NSW Travelling Horse Statement (THS) to get to the Victorian border. The horse transporter will then need a Victorian Horse Entry Declaration (VHED) to travel in Victoria. The VHED is not a Permit but rather a notification.

As with the THS, it can be filled out online and transporters are required to keep a copy with them while travelling. Further details relating to documentation will be announced later.

Conditions for movements within the white zone are likely to be the same as they are for movements in the green zone. You need a THS to move horses by vehicle, and event organisers are required to register events.

Meanwhile, the days are ticking by without further fresh cases of flu, keeping the campaign on track for a mid-March declaration that the disease has been eradicated.

The Most recent report of infection on a property in NSW was December 9. In Queensland, it was Christmas Day.

NSW's Department of Primary Industries said in a statement that it is vital that people keep checking their horses and report possible cases of flu.

"A fresh EI case discovered now would not cause major problems for the control operation," the department said.

"However, if a new case is detected in around two months, it would mean that the disease had been circulating undetected for months and that would be a major setback."

Just 10 unresolved properties remain in NSW.