Equine Flu: More Than 6,500 Infected Properties

The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries reported today (Oct. 25) that there are 5,050 infected properties, 459 dangerous contact properties, and 492 suspect properties. Of the 12,068 horses targeted for vaccination in buffer areas, 8,443 horses have been vaccinated thus far.

Queensland reported as of Oct. 25, there are 1,640 infected properties, an increase of 76 from Oct. 23. The Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries has introduced an inner buffer zone as part of the strategic plan to further contain this disease to southeast Queensland. Vaccination is continuing.

"Progress towards re-zoning is being made at a very encouraging rate," noted the New South Wales press release. "Changes in zoning of some areas from amber to green and from red to amber would mean a freeing-up of restrictions in some of the amber and red zones and would be a big step on the way back to normal operations and eradication of equine influenza.

"As part of the progress towards re-zoning, surveillance testing is being undertaken to confirm which isolated red zones are free of the disease. The testing required is quite extensive and may take up to two weeks to finalise. This is a crucial step: before any change in zoning can be made, we must be completely confident that the disease has been eradicated in those areas."

The government reminds horse owners to observe the recommended biosecurity measures for personal hygiene. "Ensuring that people entering your property have undertaken the necessary personal hygiene recommendations is the easiest way to protect your horses," the release noted.

Relief and Recovery

From Sept. 22 to Oct. 23, 61 registered horse events were submitted to the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, and 34 events have been held. Government publications note that 74% of the registrations were for green zone events and 26% were for amber zone events. Race meetings will be held at Bathurst and Kembla Grange on Oct. 27.

Registration of Infected Horses

"To date over 6,560 horse locations have been registered in the equine influenza database," noted the New South Wales report. "Horse registrations provide vital data for planning how to eradicate equine influenza."

Movement of Horses

There have been more than 4,000 movement permits issued by the Local Disease Control Centre in New South Wales. The movement of horses for training in the Amber Zone has been assessed, and there have been some modifications made to the movement restrictions. Current information on the guidelines for the all movements of horses can be found at: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/equine-influenza/movements.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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