Options for the control of equine flu in New Zealand were discussed at a meeting in Christchurch yesterday between the NZ Equine Health Association (NZEHA) and Ministry of Agriculture biosecurity officials.
The meeting discussed the flu situation in Australia and its potential impact on New Zealand's options and decision-making in response to the disease.
The meeting's looked at the debate on vaccination and, in particular:
- The impact of Australia vaccinating.
- The potential status of New Zealand with the international collating agency for all animal diseases (OIE) in regard to various courses of action taken.
- The plusses and minuses of pre-emptive action and their impacts.
- The types and availability of vaccines, status of accreditation of vaccines (both dead and
live) with the Environmental Risks Management Authority (ERMA).
- Quarantine requirements and protocols in regard to possible actions taken and potential costs.
It was agreed that the two groups would co-operatively draw up a paper and a presentation, which sets out all options - their advantages and disadvantages and the impacts of the various courses of action - for wider distribution to all industry participants.
It is anticipated that this will be available for the NZ Racing Board's EI meeting in Wellington on Tuesday.
The meeting also covered the proposed processes for reaching decisions and communicating decisions.
Biosecurity officials emphasised that their role at this stage is to consult with industry representatives and to provide as quickly as possible facts and scenarios to industry stakeholders to ensure that they make the most informed decisions both from a business case and an industry-first basis.
Bruce Graham, who chaired he meeting, said it had been productive and provided a good platform for an exploratory visit to Australia today and next Tuesday's meeting in Wellington.