Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Australia's horse industry open for international trade

Horsetalk.co.nz

March 20, 2008

Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Andy Carroll has extended an open invitation to international trading partners following the announcement that the country is provisionally free of equine influenza (EI).

"I invite our trading partners to visit and see first hand our success in eradicating equine influenza and ongoing surveillance," Dr Carroll said.

"I'm pleased to say several international markets have already re-opened their doors to Australian horse exports.

"The open invitation allows international trading representatives to satisfy themselves that Australian horses are in top health and fit for export.

"International trade is crucial to Australia's horse industry and authorities will be working closely with industry representatives and trading partners to re-open important markets.

"We should be proud of the eradication result. Australia has well established arrangements to deal with disease outbreaks and EI presented the largest ever test of these arrangements."

Close to 10,000 properties in Australia were infected and all horses are now recovered.

"Active surveillance has not found any new infected horses since December," Dr Carroll said.

"We are now working towards securing international recognition as being free from equine influenza. To satisfy World Animal Health Organization requirements, Australia will be maintaining our highly effective surveillance system so we can continue to prove that we remain free from equine influenza."

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