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Vaccine for non-racing sector in Queensland

October 31, 2007

Enough vaccine for 26,000 horse has been allocated to the non-racing sector in Queensland.

The state's Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries said final details about the roll-out have still to be finalised.

Horse owners in the red zone will still need to meet criteria, developed in consultation with a group from the performance and pleasure horse industry, to be considered for the new vaccine allocation.

Chief veterinary officer Ron Glanville said the national decision to allocate the new vaccine was an important step in helping the performance and pleasure horse industry to recover. It will also help in bringing this epidemic under control.

"Clearly, the decision to allocate vaccines for 26,000 horses is encouraging news for the 1000s of Queensland businesses, local associations and clubs who have been affected by equine influenza, but importantly, it also signals an end is in sight," he said.

"The Queensland government and the performance and pleasure horse industry have worked very hard over the last two weeks to ensure the priorities of this sector are heard at a national level and these coordinated efforts have clearly paid off.

"Industry is now working on the logistics of how the vaccine will be rolled out and I encourage horse owners within the red zone who have not had equine influenza to visit the DPI&F website and get an application form in to the system.

"People also need to be aware that not all of this vaccine will be available straight away and that it will take some time to roll out this many vaccinations, so please be patient.

"Even though this is great news, it's important to remember that vaccination is not the be-all-end-all solution - in fact it's only one part of the national strategy that we're all working through to eradicate Equine Influenza.

"It's very important that all horse owners remain vigilant, continue decontamination and Biosecurity procedures, and stay informed about this highly contagious disease. This is critical if we are to achieve open horse movements by December."

It remains illegal to move horses in the Queensland red zone without a permit, regardless of whether the horse has been vaccinated.

A specific vaccination application form will be available on the department's website shortly.



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