People moving between farms or stables are a major risk-factor for spreading of horse flu (equine influenza) according to Queensland's Chief Veterinary Officer.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Biosecurity Queensland's chief vet Dr Ron Glanville said all horse owners need to realise that people can carry the horse flu virus on their clothes, shoes, hats, hair or body.
"People should avoid moving between farms or stables unless it is absolutely necessary, and then, only when correct decontamination is employed," Dr Glanville said.
"While there is no risk to human health from equine influenza, it is essential that people who are exposed to horses or who have regular contact with horses should shower and change into clean clothing and footwear and a clean hat, before coming into contact with any other horses," he said.
"This applies in particular to farm and stable owners and workers, farriers, equine dentists and chiropracters, horse strappers, vets and other animal carers, trainers and jockeys that might move between one location to another.
"Where possible, they should avoid all contact with other horses on other farms or stables, and horse equipment must not be moved between farms or shared among other horses.
"At this critical time, no one should be patting or touching a horse that is not their own, or even walking into horse paddocks or stables where they are not responsible for the care of that horse.
This is particularly important in areas where equine influenza has been diagnosed on several properties, including Goondiwindi, Warwick, Minden, Rosewood, Brisbane Western suburbs and Tamborine.
All horse owners are encouraged to register on the DPI&F website so that they can receive important information and updates about the horse flu situation," he said.
All horse owners should employ the following biosecurity measures:
All people coming in contact with horses (including farriers, equine dentists and chiropracters, horse strappers, vets and other animal carers) should:
- Do not allow people onto your property or stable without permission and only let them enter if proper disinfection is used first.
- Avoid people moving between horses at different locations unless absolutely necessary.
Observe all horse movement restrictions
- Disinfect all equipment used.
- Shower, wash your hair and change into fresh clothing.
- Disinfect footwear.
Horse owners cannot:
- No horses of any type, including pets, riding club horses, show animals, donkeys or circus horses or zebras are allowed to be moved without a permit.
Horse owners can:
- Ride a horse to another property.
- Ride alongside roadsides.
- Ride within national parks or other recreation areas.
Droving or Mustering:
- Ride a horse within the boundaries of a property where they are currently located only and should not come into contact with horses from other farms or stables.
Register your horse
- Horses being used for droving cattle on stock routes or roads in remote areas will require a permit. Contact DPI&F on 13 25 23.
- Horses to used for mustering on their present location (Property) must apply for a permit from the DPI&F on 13 25 23.
- Register your horse on the DPI&F website or call DPI&F on 13 25 23, to receive the latest information about the disease or the quarantine restrictions.
Report sick horses
- All horse owners are encouraged to registered their horse ownership details on-line before contacting the DPI&F with regards to any permit applications
- Report any sick horses with runny noses, sneezing or cough and elevated temperatures immediately to your local veterinarian or to the DPI&F on 13 25 23.
- Subscribe to the DPI&F equine influenza newsletter e-update and if you own a horse register your property and contact details.
- Check out the information on the DPI&F website.
- Call DPI&F on 13 25 23.