Australian Equine Flu Outbreak Update

Vaccination against equine influenza (EI) began in Australia on Sept. 29. While the number of horses and properties infected with the virus in New South Wales and Queensland has continued to grow, EI has not spread to other Australian states. The Australian Veterinary Association said in a statement Oct. 8 that it fully supports the strategy used by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries to contain equine influenza.

As of Friday, Oct. 12, Queensland reported 1,014 properties infected with equine influenza. The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries reported 4,259 infected properties.

In New South Wales a special zone set up within the infected area to allow movement and breeding of horses already in the infected area (horses can move laterally within the zone but cannot leave) was extended to further reduce the economic impact of the outbreak by allowing breeding, competition, and other movement to resume. A map of NSW movement zones can be seen at  

"This rezoning will take in many more horse studs--including Quarter Horses, Arabian horses, and performance horses--allowing the movement of non-Thoroughbred mares to stallions during the current mating season," said Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald in an Oct. 12 statement.

Click here for the latest information on EI from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

Click here for EI updates from the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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