The Far North Coast’s recovery from the 2007 Equine Influenza outbreak is complete, with registration of horse events no longer required.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said: “This is the final step in Australia’s recovery from the devastating equine influenza (EI) outbreak.

“We have now completed the required 12-month surveillance period since the last case was identified in Queensland.

“In doing so Australia has convinced the rest of the world we have succeeded in eradicating EI.

“This is an important milestone that allows the final NSW precautionary restriction to be lifted.

“Compulsory registration of horse events is no longer required from 1 January. However, we are asking event organisers and competitors to continue following biosecurity guidelines that will minimise risk to horses during any future infectious equine disease outbreak.”

Acting NSW Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Steve Dunn said horse industry organisations throughout NSW would be contacted and encouraged to continue using a range of guidelines.

“It is highly recommended that horse event organisers compile and maintain an annual calendar of events, collect information on horse attendance, maintain strict biosecurity and not allow sick horses to attend,” he said.

“Horse owners and riders are responsible for ensuring their horses are healthy before competing in events.

“Guidelines for running or attending an event will be available on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website, as well as an example of a record of attendance form.

“The guidelines take into account lessons learned from our experience with EI.”

For further information go to: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/horse/influenza