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Submissions close on Monday over proposal to drop quarantine

December 19, 2008

Interested parties have until Monday to put in submissions over plans to drop the quarantine requirement for horses brought in from Australia.

Five weeks of quarantine was put in place in mid-May as a result of Australia's equine influenza outbreak.

New Zealand biosecurity officials have released a draft set of new import requirements, called an import health standard, which proposes dropping the quarantine periods. If approved, this would result in major savings for horse owners bringing in horses from Australia, with quarantine and related costs currently around $NZ5000.

Submissions close just three days before Australia is officially clear of flu under guidelines set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The last recorded case of equine flu in Australia was Christmas Day.

Depending on the contents of submissions, the new quarantine-free requirements could be in place by Monday, January 26, next year.

Racing interests have expressed a desire in recent weeks to free up imports to allow thoroughbreds to cross the Tasman for summer racing carnivals.



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