Equine flu summit in Australia next week

September 19, 2008

A national summit will be held in Sydney next week to consider options for management of potential future equine flu incursions, and ongoing vaccination is likely to be high on the discussion list.

The racing industry has called for an ongoing vaccination programme but opponents argue it would be expensive, may not protect against the correct strains, and could make containment more difficult because it will be harder to identify cases in vaccinated horses.

Opponents to ongoing vaccination include the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).

A targeted vaccination programme was a crucial part of the successful effort to eradicate the virus from Australia.

Vaccine may currently only be used in horses being imported and exported.

The September 25 summit will pull together a broad range of industry representatives to put their views and hear the facts.

Delegates will be drawn form both government and representative sectors of the horse industry.