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Government acts on another key equine influenza recommendation.



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The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Government acts on another key equine influenza recommendation

11 September 2008 DAFF08/116B

The Rudd Government has implemented another key recommendation from the Callinan Inquiry into the 2007 horse flu outbreak, with the appointment of an interim Inspector General of Horse Importation.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke announced former Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer and internationally-recognised quarantine expert Dr Kevin Dunn had been appointed to the position.

Dr Dunn was appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Conall O’Connell.

He will play a key role in checking operations and procedures for the importation of horses, including at quarantine premises in Australia and overseas.

He served as Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer from 1992 to 2006; worked with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, including managing a livestock import quarantine station and developing import protocols and led the response to a number of disease outbreaks.

Dr Dunn was also the Australian Government’s veterinary representative to the European Union.

“The Government is committed to fixing the failures in our quarantine and biosecurity system identified by the Callinan Inquiry report,” Mr Burke said.

“In June we agreed to implement all 38 of Commissioner Callinan’s recommendations and we’re making good progress.

“The new interim Inspector General of Horse Importation will provide advice directly to me and his work will be integral in ensuring we have robust quarantine and biosecurity systems.

“Dr Dunn is highly regarded by his peers in the veterinary profession and will bring years of experience to the role.”

The Government agreed to appoint an interim Inspector General of Horse Importation, pending the outcome of the review into Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity systems, chaired by Roger Beale AO.

Other Callinan Report recommendations which have been implemented include:

• upgrade of quarantine facilities at Sydney and Melbourne airports • inspection of pre-export quarantine facilities overseas • new quarantine conditions for international racehorses, and • the appointment of a senior officer in the Australian Quarantine and Inspection

Service who is responsible for horse import conditions, operating procedures for the clearance and quarantine of horses and establishing a Horse Industry Consultative Committee.

Further information on the implementation of Commissioner Callinan’s recommendations is available at: www.daffa.gov.au/aqis/about/eiimplementation