Western Australia’s equine influenza response praised.
The State Government has congratulated the horse industry and the Department of Agriculture and Food for ensuring Western Australia was kept free of Equine Influenza (EI).
Australia was declared provisionally free of EI on March 14, enabling WA to return to normal conditions for the importation of horses, used horse equipment and reproductive material.
Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance said the Department of Agriculture and Food and the industry had done an excellent job of managing the risk to WA.
“The State Government worked very closely with industry, through the establishment of the WA Equine Influenza Industry Group, to ensure the appropriate biosecurity conditions were put in place,” Mr Chance said.
“Stopping EI spreading to WA was critical to the State’s horse industry.
“The prevention program involved a large-scale industry and public awareness campaign.”
The Minister said as well as managing the State’s emergency response, his department had also provided 36 staff to NSW and Queensland at various times to help manage the response in those States.
“Containing and eradicating EI from Australia was a monumental task,” he said.
“I congratulate everyone involved throughout Australia on a job well done.”
Racing and Gaming Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich said the excellent response by regulators and industry participants had spared WA’s racing industry from the devastating impact EI had caused to the New South Wales and Queensland racing industries.
“The loss of economic activity in those two States has amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars and while our local industry suffered some negative impact, it could have been much worse,” Ms Ravlich said.
The Minister praised the efforts of Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) in the fight against EI.
“RWWA proved its worth in providing strong leadership and effective co-ordination of the threat management within the thoroughbred and harness racing industries,” she said.
More information on horse entry conditions for WA are available in the Movement of Stock to WA document on the department’s website http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/content/aap/q/equine.htm
Even though the EI emergency is over, owners who have a horse with coughing, nasal discharge and an elevated temperature should contact the Department of Agriculture and Food’s emergency animal disease hotline on 1800 675 888.
Mr Chance’s office - 9213 6700
Ms Ravlich’s office - 9213 6800