NSW EI workforce dedicated to stamping out disease

The NSW Government has assembled a workforce of more than 1000 people to tackle the current Equine Influenza (EI) outbreak, Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, said on Tuesday.

"The minute Horse Flu was confirmed in NSW the Iemma Government launched a proactive, unprecedented response," Minister Macdonald said.

"It is now 60 days since it was confirmed that horse flu had breached the Federal Government's Eastern Creek quarantine facility and our control and eradication campaign is in full swing.

"The NSW Government has spent about $15 million on control and eradication of EI so far.

"The backbone of this effort is the dedicated staff who have shown overwhelming commitment to working with the horse industry to stamp out EI.

"The NSW horse flu workforce has huge depth of experience in veterinary science, logistics coordination and emergency disease management.

"At any one time in NSW there is about 400 staff working on this problem at about 20 locations across the State from Temora in the south to Woodenbong near the Queensland border.

"Staff are working across a range of disciplines ranging from tracing the disease, surveillance, decontamination, veterinary investigations, vaccination and logistics right through to communication, policy development and zoning.

"The team includes more than 550 staff from DPI assisted by another 575 staff from other State Government agencies including the Rural Fire Service, NSW Police, RTA, State Emergency Services and the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

"Rural Lands Protection Boards are also playing a crucial role on the ground with veterinarians and rangers taking part in the vaccination campaign and offices administering permit applications.

"In addition, about 25 people have been called in from interstate to bolster the NSW effort.

"We also have the services of 100 private veterinary practitioners who are part of the mobile vaccination teams sweeping through buffers strategically vaccinating horses."

In NSW a total of 5000 properties are confirmed infected and about 40,200 horses are infected

- NSW Minister for Primary Industries


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