Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance said today no interstate horses would be permitted into Western Australia to ensure the State remained free of equine influenza.
Mr Chance said WA remained on high alert to the potentially devastating virus and had closed its borders to all interstate horse movements until further notice.
“WA’s horse industries were cleared to resume activities from 4pm yesterday, allowing for the general movement of horses within the State,” he said.
“We are in a very fortunate position of not being an infected State, but we must remain vigilant to this threat.”
The Minister said the highly infectious spread of equine influenza in NSW and Queensland had demonstrated the importance of biosecurity measures to prevent it entering WA.
The Department of Agriculture and Food, Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) and the recreational horse sector have all responded by developing biosecurity instructions and information for racing and recreational personnel and interstate travellers.
RWWA instructs that any industry personnel who are returning, visiting or relocating to WA must first report in person to the relevant RWWA Stewards department before entering any racecourse, stable or training facility (private or public).
“The racing industry in WA is not taking any risks with equine influenza and has set strict and detailed instructions to ensure a high level of biosecurity for all jockeys, trainers and others who service their industry,” Mr Chance said.
“Good horse hygiene and biosecurity advice has also been presented at a meeting for WA’s recreational horse industries, hosted by the WA Horse Council at the Brigadoon Equestrian Centre last night.
“The recreational horse industry is developing detailed biosecurity protocols for their participants.”
The Minister said information for travellers would also be provided at the WA quarantine checkpoints at Kununurra and Eucla, as well as at the Perth Domestic Airport.
Anyone travelling to WA who has had contact with horses in other States were advised to shower and wear clean clothes and disinfected footwear before handling horses in WA.
All horse-related equipment such as saddles, helmets, rugs and brushes being returned from other States must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
The Department of Agriculture and Food will also ban the importation of all horse equipment from NSW and Queensland.
Minister's office - 9213 6700