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Getting life back to normal in equine flu country

October 25, 2007

New South Wales authorites say recovery plans for horse industries are now the focus, with containment strategies well-entrenched across the state.

"Recovery plans for industry and the broader horse industry are being made a priority, with the aim of increasing freedom of activity and a return to normal operations," the Department of Primary Industries said in its daily update.

"Careful progression of zone changes is essential, and it is critical that the changes can take place with confidence that the disease is eradicated in those areas."

Vaccination is continuing in buffer zones, with 8335 horses out of 12,068 inoculated so far, and the department says progress is being made in the development and planning of the strategy for vaccinating foals in the purple zone.

Surveillance testing is coninuing at Coonamble, Coonabarabran, Berry, Walcha and Gloucester Tops.

Zone re-adjustments are planned as the testing progresses to confirm which isolated red zones are free of the disease. The required testing is said to be quite extensive and will take up to two weeks to finalise.

The state had 4938 infected properties yesterday, with 458 labelled as "dangerous contact" and 481 officially "suspect".

In Queensland, the number of infected premises stood at 1534 yesterday, an increase of 148 since Friday, October 19.

In other news, the Australian Horse Industry Council is asking horse owners if they support eradication of the disease.

The council said it needs to understand the feelings of horse owners towards the current eradication programme.

"There are some sectors within the horse industry that are prepared to live with the disease. Are these representative of the average horse owner?" the council asked in a statement.



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