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All Australian thoroughbred horses to be vaccinated 26 Oct 2007

All Australian thoroughbred horses to be vaccinated

The Australian Racing Board advised on Friday that it has given in-principle approval to the adoption of new Australian Rules of Racing making it mandatory for all horses involved in racing and breeding to be vaccinated as a condition of participation in the industry.

In terms of a rationale the Australian thoroughbred sector (racing and breeding) believes that implementing a permanent national vaccination policy is an essential and non-negotiable risk management policy. In this regard it may be noted that:

The UK has vaccinated since 1981 and despite EI being considered endemic in that country no race meetings have been lost because of EI in 25 years (including the 2003 Newmarket outbreak).

Notwithstanding that Japan has been considered free of EI from 1972 to 2007 it has a compulsory vaccination program and this has undoubtedly been a significant factor mitigating the losses caused by the 2007 outbreak.

ABARE has included in its modelling the probability of an EI outbreak in
Australia once every 20 years irrespective of eradication.

"We are still giving our full co-operation to the efforts that are being made to contain and eradicate EI, and we very much hope that the disease can indeed be eradicated. However, even if this is accomplished we have reached the conclusion that we simply cannot afford to be without an insurance policy against a future outbreak occurring. A compulsory national vaccination program is that insurance policy." Bob Pearson, Chairman, Australian Racing Board

The draft rule, AR.64L is now to be considered by the ARB Integrity and
Welfare Executive Committee and technical experts. A full period of notice and consultation will take place before the rules are implemented.

- Rob Burnet - Thoroughbred News


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