Thoroughbred breeders, the racing industry and local pony clubs are facing an uncertain future due to stocks of the equine herpes vaccination having completely run out in Australia, potentially putting our multi-billion dollar horse industry at risk.
At the recent Senate Estimates hearing Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Schipp advised that “without access to the vaccine, it will mean that you would expect to see more abortions. That would impact on the breeding industry. You would expect to see impacts on the racing industry because of the effects of rhino pneumonitis”.
I raised this matter with the Minister’s office over 3 months ago but he failed to recognise the seriousness of the issue until about 9 days ago. We’ve lost three valuable months.
Unfortunately, this disease is not new to Australia. In 2002 there was an outbreak of the virus that killed 10 foals on one property.
Industries that have to deal with Minister Joyce are seeking more than retail politics and spin. They need a Minister who is across his brief and acting to ensure the best outcomes for the future success of their industries.
FRIDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2016