Expert equine flu panel named

February 14, 2009

Australia has appointed an expert review panel to look at future equine influenza incursions and how to handle them.

The panel comprises Roger Beale, who is chairman; David Watson, a former Queensland politician and finance/project manager; Michael Curll, formerly of the New South Wales Department of Agriculture (deputy director, science and research); and Anne Kelso, a virologist at the World Health Organisation Influenza Collaborating Centre in Melbourne.

The Animal Health Committee of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council commissioned the panel to identify the consequences of a future incursion of equine influenza; consider strategies proposed for the prevention, mitigation and management of those consequences; and assess the impacts of each strategy on national horse industry businesses and business owners, including the non-racing sectors.

Its report is expected mid-year.

The Primary Industries Ministerial Council is composed of the federal and state ministers of agriculture or primary industries. PISC is the Primary Industries Standing Committee and is composed of the heads of the Departments of Agriculture or Primary Industries.