Australia: NSW State Government to Hold Informational Meetings on Influenza

Community information meetings have been rolled out across parts of New South Wales (NSW) directly affected by the outbreak of equine influenza (EI), in order to keep the public fully informed on progress being made to eradicate the highly contagious disease.

The Iemma Government, through the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), has teamed up with horse industry representatives, local veterinarians and the Rural Lands Protection Board to deliver EI information locally and answer questions from horse owners.

According to Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald, topics include buffer zone vaccinations, location of infections, biosecurity and disinfection, testing procedures, and details of how the outbreak is being managed.

"There is a great deal of community interest in equine influenza because of its impact at the local level, Macdonald said. "Restrictions on the movement of horses and horse products in the early days of the campaign were tough on people who have always had the freedom to ride their horses or attend events."

The meetings are designed to inform horse owners and deliver the latest information in an open, friendly environment. Details, including a schedule for the meetings, are available at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/equine-influenza.

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