Australia Equine Flu: Victoria Situation Report

From the Australian Horse Industry Council:

As of Oct. 11, New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland are both affected by equine influenza (EI). All the other states and territories remain EI free.

Vaccination of horses in NSW regional buffer zones around EI restricted areas (designated "red zones"--see map at commenced Sept. 29. All vaccinations will be used for the eradication campaign only, and there is currently no proposal for any general vaccination of horses. Vaccination other than with the approval of the Chief Veterinary Officer remains illegal. The NSW Police have now begun active control of horse movements in the state.

Vaccination of horses in Queensland began on Sept. 29. This will see the establishment of a large "buffer zone" around the known EI infection areas in the southeast (see Queensland map at, as well as vaccination of high risk horse populations within that state's designated "red zone."

Horse owners should note that vaccinated horses could still be infected, could be carrying the virus, and could infect other horses or be a source of contamination. The vaccine simply acts to reduce the severity of infection and the excretion of virus, thus limiting the spread of the disease.

The ban on importing horses into Tasmania from the mainland has been reinstated.

For updated map and graph go to or, then navigate to Alerts.

Victorian Situation

  • Victoria remains free of EI
  • The movement of horses into Victoria from NSW or Queensland is prohibited.
  • The movement of horse products, vehicles used to transport horses, fittings, and equipment into Victoria from the affected states is prohibited unless under permit.
  • Vaccinations commenced in Victoria on Oct. 1. The vaccine will be used under permit for registered Thoroughbreds only and will be managed exclusively by Racing Victoria Limited.
  • During the launch of the Spring Carnival Oct. 3 Premier John Brumby announced $2.2 million in programs to reinforce measures to help keep Victoria free of EI and protect the Spring Racing Carnival.

Actions Taken in Victoria

1. Surveillance and testing

  • Since the beginning of the standstill, 227 investigations have been conducted and samples from more than 496 horses have been taken, with no positive results recorded.
  • All properties and horses have now been released from quarantine.

2. Border Control

  • A security firm is providing effective 24 hour surveillance on all border crossings between NSW and Victoria and will operate until further notice. Victoria Police are providing assistance.

3. Movement and permits

  • Even with new zones operating in NSW and Queensland, movement of horses into Victoria from Queensland and NSW is still prohibited.
  • Movement of horse vehicles, fittings, and equipment into Victoria from NSW is prohibited unless under permit.

4. Other information

  • It is important that recreational horse owners continue to be vigilant and observant.
  • Owners and horse practitioners should continue to observe and practice strict hygiene measures and report all horses showing signs suspicious of EI.
  • Owners found to have illegally moved horses into Victoria will be prosecuted and horses could face destruction.
  • There is no plan for widespread vaccination of horses in Australia while the eradication program is in progress.

The Equine Influenza helpline number is 1800 678 779 and it operates daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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