Horse quarantine from Australia now gone

January 8, 2009

New Zealand yesterday lifted the quarantine requirement on horses from Australia.

The move allows the resumption of the cheaper sea-freight option for horse owners, which Sea Horse Sea Freight says will include a new service through the South Island port of Lyttelton.

MAF Biosecurity has issued the new import health standard for horses from across the Tasman, which dropped the requirement for five weeks of quarantine - three served in Australia and two here.

The new standard brings to an end nearly 18 months of disruption.

A ban on horses from Australia was in place from late in August 2007, when equine influenza was first confirmed.

The last case in Australia was reported in Queensland on Christmas Day that year and New Zealand lifted the ban last May, but imposted strict testing and quarantine conditions.

The cost of bringing a horse across the Tasman cost around $10,000, including air freight and quarantine.