22 April 2010
The Rudd Government is on target to deliver on all the recommendations from the 2007 equine influenza inquiry with most now complete, including defining the conditions for horse imports into Australia.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today welcomed the findings in the fourth report from Professor Peter Shergold AC.
“A significant part of this progress was the completion of the Horse Import Risk Analysis,” Mr Burke said.
Professor’s Shergold’s report touches on the complex issue of voluntary pre-emptive vaccination against equine influenza.
"I am sympathetic to the arguments of the thoroughbred industry…. Although, I am aware there are divided views across government and industry …. I support your position that in the in the absence of an emergency response agreement with the horse industry, horse industry sectors should be able to use voluntary pre-emptive vaccination against equine influenza”
-- Professor Peter Shergold AC
“Professor Shergold’s report reaffirms that everything necessary is being done to allow horse imports from Japan in time for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival,” Mr Burke said.
“However, I share Professor Shergold’s concerns about the impact of quarantine fees on the horse import industry.
“We will continue to work with horse importers to ensure biosecurity arrangements are delivered in a cost effective-manner.”
Professor Shergold was appointed to provide regular independent assessments of the government’s progress on the implementation of the Callinan Inquiry recommendations.
All recommendations from the Callinan Inquiry are progressing as scheduled, with 32 recommendations implemented as of December 2009.
Professor Shergold will deliver his final report in June 2010.
Professor Shergold’s fourth report can be found at www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/live-animals/eiimplementation