Influenza Outbreak: Men Caught Transporting Horses

Six men in Queensland and one in New South Wales have been caught transporting horses during the equine influenza lockdown, the latest crushing blow for an industry in turmoil in Australia.

The Queenslanders tried doing it in the dead of night, loading up six mares at 1 a.m., but a next-door neighbor saw them and reported the incident to police. In New South Wales, a man has been charged with breaching the ban on horse transportation during the current outbreak of equine influenza (EI).

New South Wales police say about 11.30 p.m. Sept. 3, they stopped a vehicle in the outback town of Inverell, in the state's north and found it contained a black gelding.

At that time no horse for any reason was allowed to travel out of its own farm, so the police had no option but to charge the driver. He will face Inverell Local Court on Nov. 15.

Meanwhile the first Thoroughbred casualty to the outbreak has been reported. Again in the New South Wales north, a horse named, ironically, Tip Of The Iceberg (Nediym--Ice Column) the winner of his last start and four of 28 appearances, has died as a result of complications to his breathing caused by EI. (For more on this see

His death has dramatically escalated the calls from many Thoroughbred participants, particularly large breeding farms, to immediately vaccinate all Thoroughbreds.

(Originally published at

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Ric Chapman

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