Local horses should be clear of influenza

By BELINDA SCOTT

THREE Coffs Coast horses which competed in a one-day event at Carroll's Ranch at Maitland on August 19 have so far shown no signs of the equine influenza virus which has shut down the nation's horse industry.

One horse from Woolgoolga, one from Nana Glen and one from Coramba were among 250 horses which competed at that event, some of which subsequently came down with Equine Influenza (ELI).

Coffs Harbour veterinarian David Johnson said the three Coffs Coast horses had travelled together and had been stabled at a private property near Maitland, not at Carroll's Ranch.

He said the Department of Primary Industries had contacted the local owners.

He said they were responsible owners who had kept their horses at home and had washed down and cleaned out their horse floats.

"It is now 10 days since the event and the chances of the horses contracting EI are very low almost unlikely," he said.

"If no horses are moving, the only way you can get the disease is if someone brings it."

But Mr Johnson said it was almost certain local rider Stephanie Watt's horse Flying Mouse, which is locked down at Morgan Park at Warwick in Queensland, would develop EI.

"I would expect nearly every horse in Warwick (at Morgan Park) would get the disease, it's that contagious," Mr Johnson said.



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