Equine Influenza

Discussion in 'Equine Influenza' started by Lin, Aug 27, 2007.

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    HON PETER McGAURAN MP

    MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

    M E D I A R E L E A S E


    Public inquiry into Equine Influenza

    Recently retired High Court Judge, Justice Ian Callinan, has been appointed to conduct an independent inquiry into the entry and spread of equine influenza (EI) in Australia in August 2007.
    Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said today that Justice Callinan’s inquiry would examine how the virus got into Australia, and how it had spread.
    Mr McGauran said that the public – particularly those directly affected by the outbreak – rightly expected that all circumstances surrounding the entry of EI into Australia were being properly investigated and that Australia’s quarantine procedures were effective.
    “Considering the seriousness of the situation and the impact on the horse industries, I have asked Justice Callinan to review all the evidence and report to me on the likely cause of the incursion and what measures are needed to maintain the integrity of Australia’s quarantine system,” Mr McGauran said.
    “Justice Callinan will undertake a full independent inquiry and have wide-ranging powers under the Quarantine Act 1908, which allows him to subpoena witnesses and hold public hearings.
    “I have asked Justice Callinan to examine the findings of the investigation currently being undertaken by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) into the outbreak, as well as the epidemiological investigations and any other relevant matters.
    “I have also asked Justice Callinan to take into account the views of interested individuals and organisations.
    “The inquiry will examine the circumstances that have contributed to the outbreak of EI in Australia and any need for strengthened procedures and processes to make sure the highest standards of biosecurity are maintained for horses in post-arrival quarantine.”
    Mr McGauran said that an effective quarantine system was vital to the racing, harness and horse industries which employ tens of thousands of people directly and as many again indirectly.
    The findings of the inquiry, which will start shortly, will be made public.
    Media release from the Hon Peter McGauran MP - Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Page 2
    Justice Callinan
    Ian David Francis Callinan was appointed to the Court in February 1998. At the time of his appointment he was a practising barrister. After spending five years as a solicitor he was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1965 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1978. He was President of the Queensland Bar Association between 1984 and 1987 and was President of the Australian Bar Association in 1984-85. Justice Callinan was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2003.
    Justice Callinan is a playwright and author, a former Chairman of Trustees of the Queensland Art Gallery, a former Honorary Chairman of the Brisbane Community Arts Centre and was formerly a Director of a number of public companies as well as the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
    Web site: Home - DAFF
     
  2. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    Horse owners warned to obey movement restrictions


    02 Sep 2007
    Acting chief veterinary officer Steve Dunn today stressed the importance of horse owners adhering to the ongoing movement restrictions on all horses, and reporting any flu-like symptoms.
    “We can’t stress enough the importance of all sick horses being reported to the 1800 hotline, Mr Dunn said.
    “We need the support of all horse owners, and people such as vets who might be seeing sick horses, to give us their full cooperation.
    “Movement restrictions are still in place across the state, and there are tough penalties for anyone who does not obey these restrictions.
    “At the same time, we don’t want those people who have unknowingly moved horses before horse flu was confirmed in NSW to be held responsible. The main thing is that everyone does the right thing now.”
    Key statistics:
    • There are now 88 known infected properties across NSW.
    • There are approximately 737 horses infected with equine influenza
    • 10 restricted areas are in place in areas around infected properties.
    “This number of restricted areas had decreased in number because we are now combining groups of RA’s in the same area,” he said.
    This will enable more efficient management of movement in and out of these areas.
    “We are also using local government area classifications where possible to also make it easier for residents in those affected areas.”
    Mr Dunn said the current standstill meant there should be no horse floats on the roads, or horses being ridden on stock routes or other public areas, without a permit.
    “Those that are moving will be stopped by police and other authorised inspectors and their handlers asked to show their travel permit. Substantial fines can result.”
    “We appeal to people who see horse vehicles on the road to provide vehicle registration numbers as well as a description of the vehicles, their location, direction of travel and any other relevant information to the police or the hotline 1800 675 888 .”
    Download excerpts from a media conference with acting NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Steve Dunn (2.1 MB) from the Radio news downloads page.
    Further information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries
     
  3. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    Horse health monitoring is essential


    02 Sep 2007
    All horses that attended any horse events during the last two weeks of August need to have their health monitored until the incubation period for equine influenza (EI) has passed.
    The high number of horse events such as pony club, rodeos, polocrosse, sales and cross-country rides held, in particular on the weekends of 18-19 August and 25-26 August, means that the virus may have been unwittingly spread during those events.
    Clinical signs of EI include a deep dry hacking cough, a watery nasal discharge that may become cloudy or coloured, a sudden increase in temperature, depression, loss of appetite, laboured breathing, muscle pain and muscle stiffness.
    NSW Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Steve Dunn said any clinical signs must be reported to the NSW DPI hotline on 1800 675 888.
    'If possible, all horses that attended those events should have their temperature taken twice daily,' he said.
    'The temperature should be recorded at the same times each day for 10 days and if the temperature reaches 38.5 degrees this must be reported.
    'The NSW DPI website has detailed instructions on how to check the temperature and a temperature recording chart.'
     
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    sorry got a bit behine yesterday

    im putting up these links as a source of info, one is a report directly from a member of the horseworld who is stuck located at warwick with her horses, the other is a post with much information about the disease itself I felt compelled to put it forward as it goes into great detail as to what the disease does to the system, another is a link to a medical site that people should read.

    im trying to find a transcript I heard about that explains the hightened fear for race horses and why it seemed focused on them but need the time to try and find it if I can

    The Virtual Equestrian - Nicole Tough's Warwick Diary - Day 8 from "Morgan Park Town" -

    Cyberhorse Forums - What is safe exercise after EI?

    Merck Veterinary Manual
     
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    Clearing up the facts:requirements to lift quarantine


    03 Sep 2007
    Quarantine restrictions on infected properties will be lifted 30 days after the onset of clinical signs of equine influenza in the last clinical case, but this would not override any movement restrictions in force at that time.
    NSW deputy chief veterinary officer Steve Dunn said that because of the highly contagious nature of horse flu it was expected most horses on an infected property would become infected.
    “This is a highly contagious disease. Our experience is that all animals housed together or close to infected horses are likely to get the disease,” he said.
    “The only exceptions would be those on an infected property kept far enough away from infected animals to not become exposed to the virus.
    “This means the 30 day period would not begin until after the onset of clinical signs in the last case on an infected property.”
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza Hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries



    Horse flu infects 119 properties in NSW – report sick horses








    03 Sep 2007
    The NSW DPI today said 119 properties across the State were now infected with equine influenza, or horse flu.
    Deputy chief veterinary officer, Steve Dunn, said tracing accounted for each and every infected property.
    “A total of 835 horses are infected on theses properties, while another 2900 horses are considered suspect on a total of 319 properties,” Mr Dunn said.
    Tests for horse flu are being undertaken on samples taken from a horse at Bathurst Showground. These are precautionary.
    “The horse had a raised temperature which could have been caused by a number of different factor,” he said
    “This is an example where an owner is taking all precautions … it is actions like this that will help us stamp out the disease.”
    Mr Dunn said reporting sick horses is a vital component of the ongoing effort to eradicate equine influenza.
    “The battle to contain the disease is still going ahead with a strong resolve that it can be beaten,” he said.
    “We cannot afford to become blasé in communities that have a high incidence of the disease,

    “It’s becoming clear to many in people high incidence areas whose horses have not yet become sick that their animals will probably get horse flu.
    “But it is still important that horse owners and vets report the problem and follow the correct procedures so that DPI has every chance to plot the spread and transfer path of the disease.
    Even if your horses are well and you do not think they could have horse flu, do not attempt to move them even if you think there is a safer, a better or a more convenient place to keep them.
    Horse flu is so infectious that you can safely assume that if one horse in your stable has the disease, all the horses will get it.
    If you suspect that your horse has horse flu contact your local vet. It is possible that your vet may be unable to attend your horses due to the scale of the epidemic and if that is the case call the NSW Equine Influenza Hotline.
    NSW Quarantine restrictions on infected properties will be lifted 30 days after the onset of clinical signs of equine influenza in the last clinical case, but this would not override any movement restrictions in force at that time.
    NSW deputy chief veterinary officer Steve Dunn said that because of the highly contagious nature of horse flu it was expected most horses on an infected property would become infected.
    “This is a highly contagious disease. Our experience is that all animals housed together or close to infected horses are likely to get the disease,” he said.

    Download excerpts (1.9 MB) from the media conference with acting NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Steve Dunn from the Radio news downloads page.
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza Hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries
     
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    Government looks at phantom races while horse movement ban stays



    03 Sep 2007
    A total ban on the movement of horses across NSW will remain in place for at least another week, however, punters may be able to bet on “phantom races” at Warwick Farm this weekend, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said today.
    Minister Macdonald said the decision to keep the ban on movements in place was made before a special Ministerial Equine Influenza Response Group – made up of NSW Government and racing officials - met this morning.
    “We now have 835 horses infected with Equine Influenza on 119 confirmed properties across NSW,” he said.
    “More than 2900 horses are suspect on a total of 319 locations around NSW… The State is still obviously in the grip of horse flu and the ban on the movement of horses must stay in place to stop the disease spreading further.”
    Minister Macdonald said the Iemma Government would support “phantom races” being held at Warwick Farm this Saturday with betting at Canterbury.
    “We would support this move subject to approval by the national Consultative Community on Emergency Animal Diseases, which we expect to be granted by Wednesday if there are no unforseen problems,” he said.
    “The move would see horses back on the track – with punters able to watch broadcasts.”
    Minister Macdonald said the Iemma Government would next week look at possibly extending “phantom races” to tracks at Newcastle and Rosehill as well as harness racing at Bankstown where horses were located on or near trackside.
    “We are trying our best to breathe life into an industry that has been decimated by the onset of horse flu,” he said.
    “The Iemma Government has been working hard to contain this outbreak – and we will continue to do so.
    “Other options we are looking at include the approval of artificial insemination straws for harness racing via permits so as not to delay further the start of the breeding season.”
    Minister Macdonald said he was disappointed to hear reports the Federal Government had been warned three years ago that it needed to smarten up its quarantine policies, or else risk the escape of a highly contagious exotic disease, like horse flu.
    “It was a clear message from our horse industry to the Federal Government. They said we see holes in the quarantine system – fix it,” Minister Macdonald said.
    “Now its not just racing that is reeling from the horse flu outbreak. It’s pony clubs, endurance rides, local shows, dressage, polo cross, camp drafts … the list just goes on.
    “This issue is too important to play politics with – the Federal Government needs to move quickly to fix this problem and ensure there are no other dangerous loopholes in our quarantine system.”
    Minister Macdonald said the State Government welcomed Prime Minister John Howard’s announcement of a full public inquiry into the entry of horse flu into Australia.
    “NSW, Queensland and Victoria have been pushing for a full inquiry and I am pleased to see the Prime Minister is finally taking this problem seriously.
    “While the Federal Government works to identity how its quarantine shield let us down, the State Government is working around the clock to stop the disease spreading.”
    Minister Macdonald said the Ministerial Equine Influenza Response Group would meet again next Monday.
    This consists of representatives from the thoroughbred industry, the harness racing industry and the equestrian/recreational industry.
    Infected properties include those at Aberdeen, Arcadia, Berry, Cattai, Charmhaven, Clarendon, Cooranbong, Eagleton, Eastern Cree, Glenhaven, Glenorie, Gloucester, Glossodia, Kulnurra, Kurrajong, Londonderry, McCullys Gap, Maitland, Moonbi, Moree, Moore Park, Mount Hunter, Muswellbrook, Palm Grove, Parkes, Pitt Town, Quakers Hill, Randwick, Raymond Terrace, Redfern, Scone, Terry Hie Hie, Timbumburi, Tintinhul and Wilberforce.
     
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    Map experts, Forests NSW and RLPBs help in disease battle



    03 Sep 2007
    The NSW Department of Primary Industries will be using the expertise of the Rural Fire Service and other agencies to supply geographical information services (GIS) to assist in mapping the extent of the equine flu outbreak.
    RFS GIS support office Sarah Kemble is usually involved in providing mapping services to help in fighting bushfires, but has now turned to fighting a less visible foe in the equine flu virus.
    “We can drill down to quite detailed levels of mapping showing roads, property boundaries and all natural features,” Sarah said.
    “This will help us accurately portray where the infected properties are, the boundaries of restricted areas around them, and what natural features there are that might help stop the spread of the virus.”
    The mapping support will be a vital tool in assisting DPI planners, now being drawn from the ranks of Forests NSW as well as other agencies, in the Local Disease Control Centre (LDCC) at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute near Camden.
    They will use it to help predict where the disease might hit next, or even how the infections are travelling from one property to another.
    The mapping effort will be supported by the use of 100 GPS units that have been sent to forward control posts to accurately record the location of infected and suspect properties.
    Rural Land Protection Board staff across the State have also been conscripted into the equine flu effort.
    District veterinary officers have been involved at the control centre operations at Orange and Camden, and other staff have been deployed on the ground to assist.
    Their knowledge of rural areas will be a vital resource in transferring action proposed by the control centre into reality on the ground.
     
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    Clean bill of health for Condobolin horses: Macdonald



    04 Sep 2007
    About 170 horses, which have been under lockdown at the Condobolin Showground, have been given a clean bill of health, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said today.
    “I’m happy to say all risk assessments have been completed by veterinarians and there’s no clinical sign of horse flu at the site,” Minister Macdonald said.
    “With these great results, the horses have been released and owners given written permits to return the animals directly back to their home properties.
    “Tracing teams from the Department of Primary Industries worked around the clock to determine whether there were any links between known horse flu infected properties in other parts of the State and the horses at Condobolin.
    “The health of all the horses at Condobolin has been closely monitored for the last week and fortunately horse flu has not been detected.”
    Minister Macdonald said NSW DPI staff worked side-by-side at Condobolin with affected horse owners to ensure both the animals and their owners had a comfortable stay.
    “Feed supplies such as lucerne hay, wheaten chaff and special protein mix were trucked in to ensure the animals were fed and watered adequately,” he said.
    “I am told the people at Condobolin filled in their time holding events such as showjumping competitions and a classroom was set up for 14 children.
    “It’s great to hear the local community got behind the cause by donating food and the Lachlan Shire Council sponsored a BBQ dinner for their guests.”
     
  9. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    horse council





    Equine Influenza – where to from here?

    It is 10 days since we knew that flu was in the general population, how are we doing?
    We have 300 properties in NSW expected to get EI in the near future - not bad considering there were 250 horses at the first event where EI was spread and before the lockdown occurred. Most of these cases are in areas where there is a high density of horses and properties are small. We are expecting and identifying spread from property to property over fences and by airborne movement because the disease is highly infectious. It may be that all horses become infected in high density areas. This will impose a huge workload on the NSW Control Centres - they are under pressure but responding well.
    The disease will burn itself out if movements are controlled. The disease came in at the worst possible time. Spread is best under winter conditions. There will be less property to property spread in summer due to temperature and UV effects.
    There are calls to let the disease run. All horse owners need to resist this and to support the State DPI’s to continue the control effort. We are not in a similar position to overseas countries.
    We have no pool of vaccinated horses - all ours are naive and highly susceptible. If we let it go now we will have deaths of 10 - 40% of young foals - there are thousands out there at this time. It will not be just the TB's - all will get it. There will not be 300 infected properties, there will be more like 30,000.
    NSW and Queensland are suffering now. If flu gets away and there is no stand still, it will be in Melbourne this week and we can kiss the spring carnival and Melbourne Cup goodbye. All horse events will be cancelled nationally. If the positions were reversed, would NSW horse people want the Victorians to do that to us?
    Some people are saying vaccinate. With what? It will be weeks before we can get supplies of the right vaccine. Vaccination is far from 100% - otherwise EI would not have got here in the first place. If we vaccinate we will still be subject to a standstill until all horses are vaccinated and become immune. Do you think governments are going to pay for the vaccination of all horses every 6 months? Who is going to pay for that?
    Those that have been overseas know that living with flu means issuing horses with passports at a cost of at least $200 each and then vaccinating every 6 months. The vaccine costs about $30 plus vet costs. Then at every event you have to show paperwork proving current vaccination status. People running events will have to find extra people to check the paperwork. Vaccination might not prove a huge disadvantage to wealthy TB breeders or owners but it will have a huge effect on the battlers. It will change horse ownership as we know it in Australia.
    Authorities are amazed at the level of support shown by horse owners. This needs to continue at 100%. A small vocal group complaining about something could quickly evaporate the support shown by the state governments. The Feds are ducking for cover. The truth will come out but probably after the election. Keep the faith.
    If you are not a member, please join the AHIC. Membership has not been a prerequisite for registering on the Horse Emergency Contact Database but we need more support to cover our costs. Emails are free but running the website costs real dollars. If we send out an emergency SMS to 5000 people it will cost $1250 of our limited funds. We will need over 60 new individual members just to pay for that.
    Many thanks.
     
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    DPI praises support from Parkes Shire Council


    04 Sep 2007
    The Department of Primary Industries has gained partners from across the community in the battle to restrict the equine flu virus from spreading.
    One of the latest was from Parkes Shire Council which conducted what amounted to a house to house audit of the horses stabled within the 10km restricted area that is centred on the Parkes Showground.
    The task was put in the hands of the human resources manager Craig Dumesny, not so much because of his council position, but because he is a former president of the Parkes Harness racing Club.
    “I contacted two other harness trainers who covered the north and south area,” Craig said.
    “My area was the west, and one of the galloping stables did the race horses.”
    Between them they found 249 horses within the restricted area.
    “We have a strong harness racing community here, so they have the most with 129, there are 70 pleasure horses and 50 gallopers.”
    The Parkes show was cancelled because of the outbreak at the showground.
    Many of the local horses are stabled at or near the showground.
    It appears the infection arrived with a visiting horse, but while there was some early concern, the community now realises that the transfer was completely unintentional.
    “The local newspaper here, the Parkes Champion-Post, has published a front page story which has gone a long way towards explaining the situation,” Craig said.
    Other support is coming from other local government areas and industry groups.
    “This unconditional support is encouraging for the hundreds of DPI and other agency staff who are working on this outbreak,” said DPI deputy chief veterinary office Ian Roth.


    EI: Horses to avoid nose to nose contact


    04 Sep 2007
    NSW Department of Primary Industries is urging horse owners to maintain a safe distance between their horses and neighbouring horses to prevent the spread of equine influenza (EI).
    EI can be easily passed on between properties if infected horses come into contact with other horses at boundary fences.
    All owners, whether on large commercial properties or small hobby blocks, are being asked to play their part in eradicating this highly contagious disease.
    There is an indefinite ban on the movement of horses, donkeys and mules in NSW.
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza and donation hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries






     
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    Moving your horse threatens success of eradication campaign: Macdonald

    People moving their horses, including riding them off their property, could undermine the current horse flu eradication campaign in full swing across NSW, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said today.
    “Horse owners, whether they own pony club ponies or elite race horses, would be incensed to hear fellow horse owners could put the whole industry at risk,” Minister Macdonald said.
    “Moving your horse gives the disease the opportunity to spread into new areas. People must abide by the standstill and exercise strict biosecurity when handling horses.
    “The message is clear – stop moving horses and exercise good hygiene and we will have the best chance at stopping the disease from spreading.
    “Another way to aid in the fight against the horse flu is to move your animals away from boundary fences. This provides a buffer zone and prevents over-the-fence contact between animals.”
    Minister Macdonald said that there were currently 14 Restricted Areas across the State.
    “We now have 1019 horse infected with Equine Influenza on 127 properties.
    “About 3570 are suspect on a total of 402 suspect properties.
    “I stress that not all horses that are suspect eventually come down with horse flu,” he said.
    “The horse industry is taking precautions, testing any animal that has an increased temperature or respiratory signs will help track and control the disease.”






    Bathurst horse tests negative to flu


    04 Sep 2007
    A horse at the Bathurst Showgrounds has tested negative to equine influenza (EI).
    The horse had a raised temperature and was suspected of having contracted the virus.
    Now laboratory tests have confirmed that the animal is free of EI.
    Monitoring of the horse will continue.




    No silver bullet for equine influenza


    04 Sep 2007
    NSW Department of Primary Industries is warning horse owners to be wary of vaccines that offer protection against equine influenza.
    “Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet when it comes to equine influenza,” NSW deputy chief veterinary officer Ian Roth said.
    “Bio-security is paramount in the fight against this highly contagious disease and we can’t overstate the importance of complying with these protocols.
    “Our best line of defence is to halt all horse movements across the State and to stop visits between horse properties until further notice.”
    If you have contact with horses, there are a couple of important things you should do to prevent infecting more horses.
    • Make sure you change all clothing, shower and wash your hair.
    • Clothes should be washed in warm or hot soapy water.
    • Do not transfer any equipment between horses apart from your own horses, including. halters, bridles, twitches, saddles, horse floats and trucks.
    If your horse develops any flu-like signs call the NSW EQUINE INFLUENZA HOTLINE 1800 675 888.





    Horse standstill indefinite




    04 Sep 2007
    Horse owners are reminded that it is illegal to move horses in NSW while the horse standstill remains in place to curb the spread of equine influenza (EI).
    People who move horses without permission during the current EI outbreak have been warned they risk harsh penalties for breaching movement restrictions.
    NSW deputy chief veterinary officer, Ian Roth, said moving any horses without first obtaining a written permit (granted only in special circumstances) could lead to a fine of up to $44,000 and up to 12 months imprisonment.
    Moving any horse, pony or donkey is prohibited unless a permit is obtained prior to movement.
    Movement restrictions also apply to equine products, floats and trucks within NSW.
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza and Donation Hotline: 1800 675 888
     
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    Horses, their transports and equipment from New South Wales and Queensland are not permitted to enter Victoria

    It is illegal to bring horses, ponies, donkeys and mules or anything associated with them, their use, care and transport into Victoria from New South Wales and Queensland.
    In exceptional circumstances a permit may be granted by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.
    Banned items include the following when they have been in contact with horses, ponies, donkeys or mules:
    • • Buckets
    • • Bridles
    • • Blankets
    • • Boots
    • • Brushes and brooms
    • • Clothes
    • • Crops
    • • Faeces (droppings)
    • • Farrier, dental and veterinary equipment that has been used
    • • Halters
    • • Hay nets
    • • Helmets
    • • Horse floats and transports
    • • Ropes
    • • Rugs
    • • Saddles
    • • Whips
    • • Uneaten hay
    • • or any other items
    Please contact the DPI Equine Influenza helpline on 1 800 678 779 (9am to 6pm daily) if you have any further queries.
    Why is this?

    Equine influenza has been found in New South Wales and Queensland and has shut down the racing and associated industries. Victoria is currently free and must remain free. Equine influenza is spread by live animals, and on those things that have contacted sick animals. Do your bit, help keep Victoria free from Equine Influenza.
    I need further information.

    Please contact the DPI Equine Influenza helpline on 1 800 678 779 (9am to 6pm daily) if you have any further queries.
    Consult the DPI website at Department of Primary Industries and Department of Sustainability and Environment


    What if my horse is sick?

    Contact the exotic disease hotline on 1 800 675 888. DPI can advise if testing is necessary. No animals will be destroyed.
     
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    Tests clear five north coast properties


    05 Sep 2007
    Negative test results for equine influenza have come back from five locations on the NSW far north coast.
    Samples from horses near Casino, Lismore, Grafton, Tweed Heads and Yamba have returned negative for horse flu.
    This means there is no positive confirmed case of horse flu on the far north coast at this stage.
    There is one other property near Tweed Heads where horses have been sampled. Test results should be available tomorrow.
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza and Donation Hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries
     
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    Buffer zones to stop spread of horse flu


    05 Sep 2007
    Property owners are creating buffer zones on their land in a bid to stop the spread of equine influenza (EI).
    NSW deputy chief veterinary officer, Ian Roth, said it was vital to stop horse to horse interactions due to the highly contagious nature of the disease.
    “Horses who rub noses or have any other contact over fences between properties can spread EI,” Mr Roth said.
    “We’re asking owners, particularly those near infected properties, to move horses away from boundary fences.
    “The greater the distance between horses, the better.”
    Movement restrictions are still in place across NSW and tough penalties apply for anyone breaching these restrictions.
    Moving any horse, pony or donkey is prohibited without first obtaining a written permit (granted only in special circumstances) could lead to a fine of up to $44,000 and up to 12 months imprisonment.
    Movement restrictions also apply to equine products, floats and trucks within NSW.

    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza and Donation Hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries




    Albury, Warwick Farm and Rosehill horses return negative EI results








    05 Sep 2007
    Horses tested for horse flu at Albury, Warwick Farm and Rosehill have returned negative results.

    Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald today said the horses’ health will be monitored, however, authorities are confident they are NOT infected with the disease.

    “Thankfully, results from the State Government’s laboratories at Menangle returned negative results for theses horses early this morning,” Minister Macdonald said.
     
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    mod 6 Moderator

    5 September 2007
    Get up-to-date audio on the EI outbreak from DPI online

    Daily audio news grabs recorded at equine influenza (EI) media conferences are available from the NSW Department of Primary Industries website:

    Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries
    NSW DPI deputy chief veterinary officer, Ian Roth, provides an update of the EI situation in NSW.
    A link to audio grabs is at the bottom of the main EI page under the heading Media Resources.
    Topics discussed today include:
    • Current situation including the number of infected properties, negative results and positive results in the Upper Hunter and Mudgee districts;
    • Police intercepting a vehicle transporting a horse;
    • Details of the horse movement standstill;
    • Reminder to keep horses away from property boundaries; and
    • Description of symptoms being displayed in infected horses
     
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    mod 6 Moderator

    Horse flu hits Hunter stud farms as Albury, Warwick Farm and Rosehill cleared



    05 Sep 2007
    Equine Influenza has reached the thoroughbred breeding areas of the Upper Hunter Valley with Department of Primary Industry tests confirming outbreaks on two stud farms, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said today.
    “This is bad news for horse breeders - a Murrurundi horse breeding facility and another near Scone are in lockdown after horses there tested positive for Equine Influenza,” Minister Macdonald said.
    “The NSW Department of Primary Industries has confirmed these are the first thoroughbred breeding facilities in NSW where horse flu has been detected.
    “Obviously, both properties are now declared infected and strict quarantine is in place to stop the further spread of the disease.
    “NSW DPI tracing and surveillance teams are now working to identify how the disease made its way on to the properties - we need to establish a link to a known infected property so we understand how this infection occurred.”
    Minister Macdonald said there were now 14 restricted areas across NSW.
    “We now have 1311 horses infected with Equine Influenza on 146 confirmed properties across NSW,” he said.
    “A total 3376 horses are suspect on 405 properties.”
    However, Minister Macdonald said news this morning that tests from Warwick Farm, Rosehill and Albury were negative were encouraging.
    “I’m pleased to be able to say results from the State Government’s laboratories at Menangle returned negative results for these horses early this morning,” Minister Macdonald said.
    “The horses’ health will continue to be monitored, however, authorities are confident they are not infected with the disease.”
    Minister Macdonald said he was still hopeful that “Phantom Racing” will get underway at Warwick Farm on Saturday with punters able to watch race broadcasts although they will not be permitted trackside.
    “Approval for Phantom Races involving horses already quarantined at the track needs to be granted by the national Consultative Community on Emergency Animal Diseases – we are hopeful that will happen tomorrow,” he said.
    “This would see horses back on the track – although punters will only be able to watch broadcasts,” Minister Macdonald said.
    Minister Macdonald also issued a reminder that the ban on horse movement and race meets remained in place across the State.
    “We still have a complete standstill in place to stop the disease from spreading,” he said.
    “People must abide by the ban on horse movements. Those that flaunt the law face a fine of $44,000 and 12 months jail.”
    Minister Macdonald said the Government would look at extending “phantom races” to Rosehill and Newcastle at a special meeting of the Ministerial Equine Influenza Response Group on Monday.
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza and Donation Hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries
     
  17. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    Tests clear five north coast properties



    05 Sep 2007
    Negative test results for equine influenza have come back from five locations on the NSW far north coast.
    Samples from horses near Casino, Lismore, Grafton, Tweed Heads and Yamba have returned negative for horse flu.
    This means there is no positive confirmed case of horse flu on the far north coast at this stage.
    There is one other property near Tweed Heads where horses have been sampled. Test results should be available tomorrow.
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza and Donation Hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries
     
  18. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    Mortgage assistance for those hurt by horse flu




    05 Sep 2007
    Minister for Housing, Matt Brown today announced people affected by the horse flu outbreak that are struggling to meet their mortgage repayments could be eligible for financial assistance.
    “The NSW Government Mortgage Assistance Scheme helps people who find themselves, through no fault of their own, struggling to meet their mortgage obligations,” Mr Brown said.
    “There are many people who will be affected by the horse flu outbreak, from trainers to stable hands, catering staff to milliners.
    “One way the Iemma Government can help is by reminding affected people of the Mortgage Assistance Scheme.
    “This is a one-off loan paid direct to the home loan lender of the successful applicant.
    “The Government loan can make up home loan arrears or can subsidise future home loan payments for a certain amount of time.
    “With a relatively small amount of money, the NSW Government can help struggling families stay in their home.”
    Mr Brown said people affected by the horse flu outbreak could be eligible for assistance if:

    • The total amount owed on their home is less than $270,000
    • The value of their home is less than $500,000
    • The applicants gross household income is less than $70,000 per year
    • The applicant is living in the home
    • Home loan repayments currently exceed 36% of gross household income, and
    • Regular repayments were being made before the outbreak of the flu
    “The maximum loan is $12,000, and successful applicants enter into a repayment agreement before the money is paid,” Mr Brown said. “It is essential for other battling families that the loan is repaid so the money can then be used to help someone else.
    “People who may be facing losing their home or becoming homeless due to EI can contact the Mortgage Assistance Scheme, freecall 1800 806 653, email mas@housing.nsw.gov.au or visit the Department of Housing’s website at NSW Department of Housing.”
     
  19. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    Media subject to same rules as all



    05 Sep 2007
    Like everyone else, the media may be feeling the frustration of quarantine lines for horse flu.
    “With such intense media interest in properties infected with Equine Influenza, we are appealing to all media crews to observe the quarantine lines and not go on infected or suspect properties,” NSW deputy chief veterinarian Ian Roth said.
    “Although people do not suffer from equine influenza, they can transfer the infection between horses.
    “So people movements on and off horse properties need to be kept to the bare minimum.
    “The influenza virus can survive on skin, fabrics and the surface of equipment, even cameras and microphones.”
    Dr Roth said horse owners were doing their best to isolate their horses and in some cases quarantine boundaries existed.
    “We are not saying the media has done the wrong thing, but with such interest in what is going on behind quarantine lines, it is important not to be tempted to breach the rules and risking spread of the virus.”
    He said for people who have to have contact with horses, personal hygiene and clean equipment were critically important so disease is not spread.
    “This means showering or washing exposed skin with soap and water, removing and washing clothing after exposure to the horses and cleaning and disinfecting footwear,” Mr Roth said.
    Key Contacts:
    NSW Equine Influenza and Donation Hotline: 1800 675 888
    More information: Equine Influenza | NSW Department of Primary Industries
     
  20. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    Clamp down on illegal horse movements



    05 Sep 2007
    The NSW Police Force Rural Crime Unit is investigating two serious breaches of the horse standstill for equine influenza in NSW.
    The most recent horse movement under investigation occurred last night in the north west of the State – more than a week after the statewide horse standstill was introduced.
    One horse was among a semi-trailer load of cattle which was pulled over by a routine police patrol. The other investigation involves a tip-off from the public.
    Deputy chief veterinarian with NSW Department of Primary Industries Ian Roth said movement restrictions were still in place across the state and there are tough penalties for anyone who does not obey these restrictions.
    “To get on top of this disease and stop its spread, we need people to be vigilant about keeping their horses at home,” he said.
    “Illegal horse movements risk extending the duration and spread of the outbreak – and that would worsen the impact on people in the horse industries.”
    Anyone who sees horse vehicles on the road is encouraged to get the vehicle registration as well as a description of the vehicle, its location, where it was heading and any other information which could help. This information should be passed on to the local police or by calling the equine influenza hotline on 1800 675 888.
    Download excerpts (1.5 MB) from the media conference with NSW Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth from the Radio news downloads page.
     
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