Last EI restrictions end June 30
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Precautionary measures retained in NSW since the eradication of equine influenza (EI) was confirmed in February will end at midnight on June 30, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said today.
“From July 1 a Travelling Horse Statement (THS) will not be required before moving horses, the remaining green zone will revert to white in line with the rest of the state and all EI cross border requirements will be removed. Event registrations will continue,” Mr Macdonald said.
“Horse owners will now be free to move their horses anywhere in NSW and across state borders without any EI restrictions or reporting requirements.
“This last step in the battle against EI finally brings Australia’s largest ever exotic animal disease outbreak to a successful conclusion.
“No other country has successfully eradicated EI and kept it out. New Zealand and Iceland are now the only other EI free countries.
"Many international experts believed we could not eradicate EI. We have again demonstrated our proud history of successfully eradicating animal diseases.”
NSW chief veterinary officer, Bruce Christie, said that without the ongoing support, patience and sacrifice of the recreational and professional horse sectors, EI would have become endemic.
“Of particular importance was the community’s acceptance of the horse standstill,” Mr Christie said.
“We could not have controlled the spread of the EI virus without the ongoing cooperation of horse owners.
“At the height of the EI outbreak horses on thousands of properties were infected and more than 200 new property infections were being confirmed each day.
"More than 47,000 horses on almost 6,000 properties have now recovered from EI infection and no longer carry the disease.
"To reach this point strict movement restrictions were essential.”
The NSW disease control headquarters in Orange will be closed on June 30.
The NSW emergency animal disease hotline will continue to operate. Call 1800 675 888 to report any suspected emergency animal disease.
As part of the EI eradication campaign the NSW Government:
- Vaccinated approximately 50,000 horses for control purposes;
- Provided vaccine for horse industry sectors to vaccinate more than 13,000 horses;
- Established more than 20 control and vaccination centres across NSW;
- Enlisted an EI workforce of about 2,000;
- Implemented a successful four colour zoning system to free-up movements, allow the breeding season to be undertaken and horse events to resume;
- Implemented a whole of Government response including Rural Lands Protection Boards, NSW Police, RTA, State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service and NSW Health.
Media contact: Tom Braz 02 6391 3579, 0428 256 596