Friday, August 24, 2007Contact: Andrew Harding, ARB
0417 043 233
Australia applies quarantine rules to stop horse desease

The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) keeps a number of foreign racehorses at its quarantine centre because it suspects the presence of equine influenza (EI).

Equine influenza is a serious disease of horses that has the potential for very rapid spread. It can cause illness resulting in loss of performance and deaths in young foals and debilitated horses. The spread of the disease would result in serious economic loss within the equine industry due to morbidity and mortality expected in a naďve population

The Australian Racing Board Chairman Bob Pearson comments: “As disturbing as the news of this possible diagnosis is, it is reassuring that Australia’s quarantine protocols have detected the suspected presence of equine influenza at a point at which, on the current evidence, the problem can be contained and dealt with in a timely way. The important thing now is to support AQIS in dealing with this situation in its customary thorough and science-based fashion, and to maintain the world-envied status of Australia’s horse population as free from EI.”