Suc­cess cel­e­brated a decade since EI

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News -

THE NSW De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries is cel­e­brat­ing the suc­cess of erad­i­cat­ing the largest ex­otic dis­ease out­break in Aus­tralia’s his­tory – equine in­fluenza – which was dis­cov­ered in NSW 10 years ago.

DPI Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Biose­cu­rity and Food Safety, Dr Bruce Christie, said DPI was the lead agency in the NSW erad­i­ca­tion cam­paign on equine in­fluenza, which at its peak in­fected 47,000 horses on 5943 prop­er­ties in NSW.

“It is 10 years since equine in­fluenza was first de­tected in NSW and then Queens­land and while we are cel­e­brat­ing our suc­cess, DPI con­tin­ues to en­sure NSW re­tains its tough biose­cu­rity mea­sures,” Dr Christie said.

“Aus­tralia did what other coun­tries couldn’t do – erad­i­cate this dis­ease. It still re­mains en­demic in Europe (ex­cept for Ice­land), North and South Amer­ica.

“The cam­paign in NSW was led by DPI and it was the largest of its type ever un­der­taken in Aus­tralia, us­ing the lat­est lab­o­ra­tory, vac­cine, sur­veil­lance, map­ping and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies.

“I would like to con­grat­u­late the 2000 staff in­volved who worked at state and lo­cal dis­ease cen­tres, nine for­ward com­mand posts, 14 lo­cal vac­cine cen­tres and on af­fected prop­er­ties.

“I would also like to thank the 1500 peo­ple from the horse in­dus­try who played a piv­otal role us­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence and ad­min­is­tra­tive skills as part of the con­trol op­er­a­tions as well as the in­di­vid­ual horse own­ers who co­op­er­ated with the con­trol pro­gram.

“The im­pact of con­tain­ing this out­break can­not be em­pha­sised enough – it would have caused dev­as­tat­ing im­pacts on in­di­vid­ual horse own­ers, the horse in­dus­try and as­so­ci­ated sec­tors, as well as other eco­nomic im­pacts across NSW.”

EI is an acute, highly con­ta­gious, vi­ral dis­ease.

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