'Standstill' of horses now Australia-wide for at least 72 hours

Sun, 08/26/2007 - 00:00
Australian Dressage News

Following the confirmation of Equine Influenza in horses stabled at Centennial Park in the centre of Sydney, the NSW Minister for Agriculture has cancelled all horse events and all horse movements in NSW.

We have now received information that the standstill applies to the whole of Australia for at least 72 hours.

The FEI World Cup Eventing qualifier at Warwick, Qld., and associated national and international classes were cancelled today. There is a small number of horses with suspected Equine Influenza. As a consequence, all horses are being held on site at least until preliminary test results are confirmed this week. Approximately 280 horses are being held in a secure environment. The event organisers and the Qld. Department of Primary Industries have gone to great lengths to ensure the horses' welfare. Riders were complimentary about the way they were being kept informed and about the arrangements being made.

National Standstill Notice EI Questions and Answers National Equine Influenza Hotline: 1800 234 002

NSW issues orders ban all horse movements and horse events: Under Section 21 of the Exotic Diseases of Animals Act 1991, the declared control area is "The whole State Of NSW" Control Area , other than a restricted area ["CA"]

* The holding of markets, fairs, sales, shows, parades, race meetings or other gatherings or competitions involving animals or animal products to which this Order applies is prohibited * The presence or exposure of animals or animal products to which this Order applies is prohibited at any place where animals or animal products are exposed for sale; 
* the presence or exposure of the animals to which this Order applies is prohibited at any place where animals are exposed for exhibition, parade, race meetings or any form of recreation or completion.

We urge all horse owners and riders not to transport their horses and to avoid making contact with other horses. They should thoroughly wash after contact with their horses. They should also watch out for any symptoms of infection in their horses, like a raised temperature, nasal discharge and coughing, and if present, report this firstly to their vet and, particluarly if groups of horses are involved, call the disease emergency hotline 1800 675 888.

All equestrian events are to be called off pending further information on the extent of the Equine Influenza outbreak, unless the relevant Department of Primary Industry gives permission subject to special conditions. In Queensland, for example, the Department of Primary Industries has issued a statement that includes the following:

"Queensland¹s Chief Veterinary Officer, Ron Glanville, said horse events which were already underway could proceed on advice from DPI&F officers. Events not yet underway should be deferred."

More info at www.efanational.com