Horse flu crisis deepens across NSW
A total of eight out of ten thoroughbreds from a stable at Randwick Racecourse have tested positive to Equine Influenza with Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald seeking an urgent meeting with his Federal counterpart to discuss assistance measures for the industry.
“However, we can confirm that test results from Dubbo, Newcastle, Rosehill and Warwick Farm are all clear,” he said.
“There’s no doubt, the confirmed positive results unfortunately will wreak havoc on the Sydney spring racing carnival at Randwick and cause massive problems for the State’s multi-billion racing industry.
“I have met with racing officials today to discuss our options and I am seeking an urgent meeting with Federal Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran to see just what the Commonwealth can do to help.
“Of course, the Equine virus is also posing a major problem for the many leisure horse enthusiasts in the State as well – they must not be left out of the equation.”
Minister Macdonald said there were now 488 infected horses on 41 known properties across NSW in areas including Centennial Park and the Eastern Creek Quarantine station in Sydney as well as near Parkes, Moonbi and Berry.
“Many of these animals have just moved from suspect to infected – in line with our expectations. This is an extremely infectious disease,” he said.
“In addition, another 1646 horses are suspected of having Equine Influenza on another 100 properties.
“Veterinarians are monitoring their health and owners have been asked to keep a close eye on their animals and exercise vigilance with hygiene and disinfection.”
Minister Macdonald said several new infected properties were the same locations as yesterday’s suspect centres.
“New restricted areas have now been established at Hornsby, East Maitland, Eagleton, Lake Macquarie and Timbumburi,” he said.
“Now, more than ever, people who come into contact with horses must exercise strict hygiene. They MUST wash their clothing and not move between horse properties.
“People are also advised not to transport equipment between properties.
“People are also asked to keep horses away from boundaries in restricted areas. This provides a buffer zone to protect horses from infection
All the information people in these areas need to know is available on the NSW DPI website and also via the 1800 number - 1800 675 888.
Media contact: Jason Bartlett 0438 209 281 / Lyndall Derrig 0400 462 447