Success celebrated a decade since EI
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.