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Equine flu advice for horse owners and workers

August 30, 2007

Equine flu Q & A

Good biosecurity by horse and donkey owners in areas near known infected properties will be crucial in getting on top of the Australia's equine flu outbreak.

To ensure the disease does not spread, horse owners in restricted areas need to take into account the movement of basics such as feed, horse products and equipment. There are regulations that govern what can be done in restricted areas to help control the disease.

Equipment including horse transport vehicles and floats, bridles, saddles, saddle blankets, rugs, twitches, lead ropes and lunge lines require a permit and proper cleaning and disinfection for movement in and out of restricted areas.

Wherever possible, keep equipment with the same horse and disinfect equipment when moving between horses.

Products including frozen embryos and semen are allowed in without restriction but require a permit to move out.

Horse feed, hay and straw require a permit to be moved out.

Stable waste and bedding are allowed out only under permit. Wherever possible compost waste on the premises to rapidly kill the virus.

Other animals such dogs, cats and camels are allowed in and out without restriction as the movement controls apply only to equine species, including horses, donkeys, mules and zebras.

There are no restrictions on the movements of people but personal hygiene is essential for people coming in contact with horses, including changing outer clothes and washing with soap and water. Household detergents and disinfectants are appropriate.

This means showering or washing exposed skin with soap and water, removing and washing clothing after exposure to the horse and cleaning and disinfecting footwear.

Industry operators such as farriers, dentists and veterinarians can still provide essential emergency and welfare services, but they must follow the movement control procedures if they are taking nominated goods and materials back out of restricted areas.

For essential feed supplies and equipment, extended permits can be quickly arranged.

"This means that normal trade can continue in horse equipment provided that it does not breach the movement controls," a NSW Department of Primary Industries spokesman said.



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