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Shows to proceed - but no horses

August 29, 2007

Equine flu Q & A

Country shows will go ahead this weekend but without horse events, President of the Agricultural Societies Council (ASC) David Moor said today.

Mr Moore said following consultation with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the decision was made to allow shows scheduled for this weekend, but without any involvement of horses, horse events or exhibits.

Shows due to be held in coming days include Grenfell, Narromine, Barmedman, Lake Cargelligo, Finley, Manildra, Minto and Woodstock.

Mr Moor said show societies likely to be affected had been contacted, and other societies due to hold shows in the near future had also been put on notice.

Showgrounds that have horses stabled on-site would have restriction zones in place.

"It is very important that show participants and visitors alike understand the current situation due to the equine influenza outbreak and respect the rules," Mr Moor said.

Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) President, Rob Vickery, said the RAS and ASC were committed to working with the DPI and other agencies to help in the response. "While we appreciate this is a difficult time for rural communities, who rely on their show for economic and social benefits, this is a necessary action," he said.

The RAS is sympathetic to competitors, but urges everyone to assist the DPI in their efforts to contain the outbreak. Entry requirements for Sydney Royal 2008 will be considered once the situation has been resolved.

DPI's Director of Emergencies, Graeme Eggleston, welcomed the cooperation of the show societies concerned, and said it was important industry and government worked together. "We also want to try to minimise the impact on those communities affected," he said.



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