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Horses at riding club event sought in equine flu outbreak

August 26, 2007

Equine flu Q & A

The New South Wales State Government has called on horse owners who took their animals to Carol's Ranch Riding Club event at Maitland on the weekend of 18 and 19 August to call in their horse for testing for Equine Influenza.

"It's early days yet, but a number of horses that attended an event at the property on that weekend are showing clinical signs of equine influenza," Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said today.

NSW's Chief Vet, Bruce Christie, said that all horses who entered and left the property need to be located and examined.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) was also following leads on horses that had come into contact with the Centennial Park horses infected with Equine Influenza.

"More of the full picture is being revealed today and I regret to inform you that it is grim.

"Surveillance experts based at State Disease Control Headquarters have traced suspect horses to Parkes, Moonbi (near Tamworth), Broughton Vale (near Berry), Wilberforce, Cattai and Wyong.

"Samples taken by veterinarians from these horses have tested positive for Influenza A.

"This is disastrous news for the State's horse industries, not just racing. Equine Influenza doesn't discriminate between gallopers and Shetland ponies, in fact it affects donkeys too.

Minister Macdonald said the State's whole equine scene must support the current standstill to eliminate the spread of the disease.

"As we have seen in the last 36 hours, the movement of even one infected horse has the potential to spread the disease."

He said the State Government had assembled an arsenal over the weekend to control and then eliminate the disease outbreak. This includes more than 150 NSW DPI staff, staff from other states, NSW DPI field vets, 40 Rural Lands Protection Board vets, 30 private vets from the Australian Veterinarian Reserve who have been trained in emergency disease management, and 95 on-call RLPB stock inspectors.


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