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Live vaccine from Europe to combat equine flu

September 21, 2007

An attenuated live vaccine from Europe is likely to be deployed in the fight against equine flu in New South Wales and Queensland.

Sources suggest approval may already have been given for its use.

The vaccine will be used to bolster buffer zones around outbreaks, particularly in areas where dense horse populations mean the disease is spreading from property to property.

An initial 10,000 doses are expected to be ordered.

The news comes as New South Wales today introduces its four zones - green, amber, red, and purple - as part of its containment strategy. About 60 per cent of the state is considered free of the virus.

The purple zone is a special area to allowing for some movement for breeding purposes in the key Upper Hunter and North-west Sydney areas.

Earlier this week, Queensland was divided in two zones - red and green - with movement restrictions eased in the green zone.

However, authorities in both states have stressed that owner vigilance and adherence to the rules on horse movements remain crucial to the eventual elimination of the highly contagious respiratory disease.

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