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Disease outbreak in horses from United Kingdom



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PRESS STATEMENT BY THE COMMONWEALTH MINISTER FOR HEALTH

SENATOR SIR KENNETH ANDERSON

DISEASE OUTBREAK IN HORSES FROM UNITED KINGDOM

The Commonwealth M in is te r f o r H e a lth , S e n a to r S i r K enneth A nderson,

announced to d a y th a t an o u tb re a k o f s tr a n g le s had o c cu rred in a shipm ent o f 173

h o rs e s from th e U nited Kingdom. 137 o f th e s e a re b e in g landed a t A u s tra lia n

p o r t s . The rem ain in g 36 a re to go on to New Z e a lan d .

S ir K enneth s a id t h a t s t r a n g l e s , an upper r e s p i r a t o r y t r a c t i n f e c t i o n , was

common in a l l c o u n tr ie s in c lu d in g A u s t r a lia . However, th e r e was alw ays th e f e a r

t h a t an o u tb re a k in im ported anim als could be accompanied -by an e x o tic v ir u s such

as t h a t re s p o n s ib le f o r equine in f lu e n z a . Equine in f lu e n z a has n e v e r been

d e te c te d in h o rs e s in A u s t r a lia .

Every e f f o r t was n e c e s s a ry to en su re t h a t new v ir u s d is e a s e s o f h o rs e s d id

n o t e n te r A u s tr a lia and f o r t h i s re a so n s p e c ia l q u a ra n tin e p re c a u tio n s were b e in g

tak en w ith t h i s consignm ent. ·

The shipm ent o f h o rs e s l e f t th e U nited Kingdom on F e b ru a ry 4 and tr a v e l l e d

n o n -sto p to A u s t r a lia w ith 137 h o rs e s f o r u n lo a d in g in F rem an tle and Sydney. The

h o rs e s w ill a l l be d e ta in e d in Q u aran tin e u n t i l th e y a re f r e e o f d is e a s e .

Because o f th e e x te n s iv e q u a ra n tin e accommodation needed th e s h ip w i l l now

d i v e r t to M elbourne to unload about 40 h o rs e s f o r d e te n tio n a t Spotswood Animal

Q u aran tin e S ta tio n . A f u r t h e r 40 w i l l be h e ld a t th e A bbotsford Animal Q u aran tin e

S ta tio n in Sydney. I t w i l l a ls o be n e c e s s a ry to u se a p ro p e rty a t P e n r ith as a

tem porary q u a ra n tin e s t a t i o n f o r th e rem ain d er o f th e New South Wales consignm ent.

S i r Kenneth s a id t h a t A u s tra lia n Q u aran tin e O f f i c i a l s were s a t i s f i e d t h a t th e

p ro p e r ty a t P e n r ith was s a t i s f a c t o r y f o r th e p u rp o se . Q u a ran tin e o f f i c e r s would be

c o n tin u a lly p r e s e n t on th e p r o p e r ty and th e h o rs e s would be k e p t u n d er s t r i c t ·

q u a ra n tin e c o n tr o l is o la te d from o th e r l i v e s to c k . A ll th e groups o f h o rs e s a t th e

v a rio u s q u a ra n tin e s t a t i o n s valid re c e iv e th e n e c e s s a ry a n t i b i o t i c tr e a tm e n t. No

h o rs e s would be re le a s e d u n t i l q u a ra n tin e a u t h o r i t i e s were s a t i s f i e d t h a t th e y were

f r e e o f d is e a s e .

C anberra, March 15» 1972 D ept. No. 29