DPI support for Moonbi lockdown 06 Sep 2007 NSW Department of Primary Industries has recruited skilled strappers to help care for horses placed in quarantine due to an outbreak of equine influenza at the Moonbi sports ground. It’s just one of the steps taken to alleviate the hardship being experienced by horse owners, and to ensure that animal welfare standards are met. Spokesperson for NSW DPI, Brett Fifield, said the department is sensitive to the needs of people caught up in this extraordinary situation. He said the department has already provided: extended stabling, day yards and an exercise area so that owners can ride or walk their horses rubber matting in the stables to protect the horses from injury bedding material and sawdust feed to maintain the condition of the high performance horses wheelbarrows and stable rakes additional watering points and taps watering trough (garbage cans) in each stable disposal and composting facilities for manure and bedding site security computer and printer (with internet connection) daily briefings to keep the “lockup” community informed and noticeboard negotiated access to the kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities on site schedules itemising each owner’s requirements for his/her horse While their owners are free to come and to as they please, most are reluctant to leave their valuable charges. The Tamworth community has provided overwhelming support. Caravans have been delivered for displaced owners and generous donations of food and food vouchers have been received. Various government agencies have also chipped in, with the Department of Community Services and NSW Health making regular visits and NSW Fire Brigade providing decontamination services for people coming in and out of the site. Efforts to secure improved mobile coverage for the Moonbi site are proving to be a major challenge for NSW DPI and the local emergency management committee.