Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FED:Too early to predict spring racing carnival disruption:ARB


AAP General News (Australia)
08-26-2007
FED:Too early to predict spring racing carnival disruption:ARB

CANBERRA, Aug 26 AAP - It is too early to say whether the spring racing carnival will
be postponed because of an outbreak of equine influenza (EI), Australian Racing Board
chief executive Andrew Harding says.

All racing across the country was halted yesterday after the discovery of the flu in
recreational horses stabled at Sydney's Centennial Park, near Randwick Racecourse where
almost 700 racehorses are trained.

The first case of EI in Australia was detected in a stallion at the Eastern Creek quarantine
station, in Sydney's west, on Thursday. Five horses there are suspected to have EI.

The Eastern Creek outbreak prompted the 30-day quarantining of all 52 horses at the
facility, along with another 27 horses at Spotswood in Victoria, which had been in contact
with them.

Mr Harding today said that at this stage, he was not even entertaining the prospect
the spring racing carnival may have to be postponed.

"It's absolutely premature to be talking about any damage being done to the spring
carnival," he told ABC TV today.

"Containment has to be given a real chance and there's a real chance it will succeed."

Mr Harding said the Australian Racing Board would have an emergency meeting tomorrow
to discuss its plans.

"We do have a plan for this outbreak. It's always been our worst nightmare. It's the
worst disease that could enter our country, so planning has been in place for a number
of years."

Mr Harding said that because Australia's horse population had never been exposed to
the disease the animals had no natural immunity and a widespread outbreak could lead to
an "astronomical" morbidity rate.

"And the destruction that would cause to productivity would be equally astronomical," he said.

Mr Harding said inoculation of Australia's horses had been previously judged not feasible
or worthwhile.

AAP ag/sco/cdh

KEYWORD: STALLIONS HARDING

2007 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

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