Serological (blood) testing as thoroughbreds are on the move in Queensland

Queensland Racing Limited (QRL) has taken approximately 700 serological (blood) tests from thoroughbred racehorses in the Hendra and Deagon racing precincts to confirm their immunity to Equine Influenza (EI), as approved move­ments of thoroughbred racehorses commenced today.

QRL's Chief Operations Manager Mr Malcolm Tuttle today confirmed approxi­mately 700 serological (blood) tests had been taken from horses in the Hendra and Deagon racing precincts this week.

"The purpose of the blood tests is to ensure all thoroughbred racehorses in the Hendra and Deagon precincts had come into contact with EI, and as a result, developed the necessary level of immunity to the virus," Mr Tuttle said.

"Local Rule of Racing 37A provides a requirement of any horse entering a reg­istered stable or training facility to have a level of immunity to EI, either as a re­sult of the vaccination programme or having contracted the EI virus naturally.

"The only way we can be certain that horses, that have not been vaccinated, have immunity to EI is through the taking of blood samples, and having these samples analysed.

"Whilst these horses could have been tested after they had been sent for a spell, we were of the view that it would be far more efficient to test these horses while we had easy access to them in their stables at Eagle Farm and Hendra, rather than forcing connections to facilitate the blood tests after the horses had been sent for a spell.

"It makes much more sense to do these horses whilst they are easily accessi­ble without the inconvenience of having a blood test taken at a later time."

Mr Tuttle also confirmed the first approved movements of horses from Hendra would take place today.

"As outlined in a media release last week we indicated that consideration of applications for the movement of thoroughbred racehorses would commence from Monday, November 5, 2007," Mr Tuttle said.

"This has occurred and as a result we have been able to get horses moving from the stables at Hendra out to various spelling farms.

"This is also a vital step in freeing up room for horses coming into work after having been in the paddock.

"All systems are go for the December 1 resumption of racing in South East Queensland and the blood testing of horses and the movement which occurs from today, are vital steps to ensure that racing gets back on track."

- Queensland Racing Ltd


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