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  • Is it possible to judge if a horse is a happy athlete?

    Is it possible to judge if a horse is a happy athlete?

    How do you measure something as intangible as happiness, and how do you define it? Human happiness has been defined as a mental and emotional state of wellbeing with enjoyable activities. Pleasurable social activities, feelings of engagement and ...

  • Finding out more about insurance for horse owners

    Finding out more about insurance for horse owners

    The Australian Horse Industry Council (AHIC) represents the horse industry. From large member based organisations through to individuals who just enjoy the company of horses we are your representative body in Australia. One area of concern for ...

  • After 100 years in captivity, a look at the world’s last truly wild horses

    After 100 years in captivity, a look at the world’s last truly wild horses

    In the 1870s, the world’s last truly wild horses, known as Przewalski’s horses, lived in the Asian steppes of Mongolia and China. But by the 1960s, those wild horses were no longer free. Only one captive population remained, ...

  • Exciting Competition Highlights on Horse & Country TV in October!

    Exciting Competition Highlights on Horse & Country TV in October!

    October sees an exciting range of competitions from around the world available on Horse & Country TV Australia.  Some of the featured programs includes:- FEI Nations Cup 2015: Final  6th October Watch the world’s best show jumping ...


  • This Biosecurity Advice invites stakeholders to provide comments on the Import risk analysis report for horses from approved countries: draft policy review by 25 March 2013. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is reviewing the biosecurity policy for the importation of horses, which also applies to donkeys and mules. This review of the Import risk analysis report for horses from approved countries (issued in March 2010) was foreshadowed in the Australian Government's response to recommendation 35 of the Report of the Equine Influenza Inquiry of 2008. Biosecurity Australia Advice 2011/18 (BAA 2011/18) advised stakeholders of the commencement of this review and invited submissions from interested parties. This draft policy review takes into account submissions received from stakeholders since the announcement of the review on 31 October 2011 (BAA 2011/18), new and relevant peer-reviewed scientific information, advice from international scientific experts, and relevant changes in industry practices and operational practicalities. DAFF has reviewed the hazard list and updated the assessment and management of the biosecurity risks associated with the importation of horses, donkeys and mules from approved countries. DAFF has considered changes to the distribution or epidemiology of African horse sickness, dourine and glanders and determined that these disease risks are managed within current biosecurity measures. Key proposals of the draft policy review are the:

    • revision of biosecurity measures for contagious equine metritis considering changes in the clinical presentation of infection with Taylorella equigenitalis
    • revision of biosecurity measures for equine influenza considering availability of up-to-date vaccines, recent experience with molecular diagnostic techniques and recognised changes in virus clade distribution
    • revision of biosecurity measures for equine viral arteritis considering measures recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in 2012
    • revision of biosecurity measures for equine piroplasmosis considering reported changes in prevalence in some approved countries, the potential effects of regional strain differences in diagnosis, and the difficulties in diagnosing and establishing the true status of tested animals, especially in areas of low disease prevalence
    • removal of biosecurity measures for West Nile fever in line with the OIE recommendation that trade restrictions should not be imposed on dead-end hosts such as horses and because a new variant strain of West Nile virus was identified in horses in Australia in 2011.
    The department invites comments on the technical aspects of the proposed biosecurity measures associated with the importation of horses, donkeys and mules. In particular, comments are invited on the appropriateness of the measures or alternative measures that would provide equivalent risk management outcomes. Comments on the review should be submitted by 25 March 2013 to: Animal Biosecurity Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry GPO Box 858 CANBERRA ACT 2601 Telephone: +61 2 6272 4465 Facsimile: +61 2 6272 3399 Email: The review is available via the department's website: All submissions received on the review will be carefully considered by Animal Biosecurity in finalising the review of existing policy. Please pass this notice on to other interested parties. If those parties wish to be included in future communications on this matter they should contact Animal Biosecurity.

    Next steps and implementation

    After stakeholder submissions have been carefully considered and the policy review has been finalised, considerable consultation and planning will be required before revised biosecurity measures are implemented. Specific biosecurity measures and health certificates will need to be developed through negotiation with each approved country to reflect that country's animal health status. DAFF will provide sufficient time for notification of implementation dates to stakeholders to enable the smooth implementation of revised biosecurity measures for horses, donkeys and mules from approved countries. In the meantime, the current import conditions apply.


    Stakeholders are advised that, subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1988, all submissions received in response to Biosecurity Advices will be publicly available and may be listed or referred to in any papers or reports prepared on the subject matter. The Commonwealth reserves the right to reveal the identity of a respondent unless a request for anonymity accompanies the submission. Where a request for anonymity does not accompany the submission the respondent will be taken to have consented to the disclosure of his or her identity for the purposes of Information Privacy Principle 11 of the Privacy Act. The contents of the submission will only be treated as confidential if they are marked ‘confidential' and they can be classified as such in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Details: Post: GPO Box 858 (18 Marcus Clarke St) Canberra ACT 2601 Location: 7 London Circuit Tel +61 2 6272 3933 Link: Review: Horses from approved countries

  • Equivac® HeV is a new vaccine recommended for use in horses that is effective against the deadly Hendra Virus (HeV). The vaccine was launched at the beginning of November 2012 and it is now available nationwide through accredited Veterinarians. View the Hendra Virus Vaccine Q&As PDF. For more information on Hendra Virus see the Hendra pages in the Biosecurity section.

  • In recognition of the high risk of inexperienced people being hurt when involved with horses Safe Work Australia has released a new nationally endorsed Work Cover Guide: "Guide to managing risks when new and inexperienced persons interact with horses". This covers our responsibilities for those who are not familiar with, but who interact with horses as part of our businesses. It applies in the following situations where people NEW TO HORSES are involved (for example):

    • riding schools and trail riding businesses : clients/staff/volunteers
    • educational organizations with horse training programs
    • associations which employ staff (even employing office staff makes you a horse 'business' in this context) : staff/new riders/volunteers
    • trainers and breakers, clinicians : clients/new staff/volunteers
    • breeders : new staff/clients
    • racing : apprentices/clients/new staff
    The Guide does not apply to those who are just riding for pleasure with friends (a non business environment) or associations which do not employ anyone. The AHIC endorses this Guide, which hopefully will help reduce the number of accidents which occur in our industry. Visit Safe Work Australia to find out more and view the guide

  • Hendra Virus NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has confirmed Hendra virus as the cause of death of a horse near Murwillumbah on the NSW north coast. The property has been quarantined and tracing is underway to confirm movements on or off the property. Two other horses and two dogs on the infected property are being closely monitored for any warning signs of the virus. The 19-year-old gelding died on Saturday afternoon after showing typical Hendra symptoms, including lethargy, for two to three days prior. This case follows one confirmed Hendra case last year in Murwillumbah and four cases 2013 where Hendra was confirmed in four horses and a dog on four separate properties on the NSW mid north Coast – two properties near Macksville and two near Kempsey. Horse owners should remain vigilant and continue to take steps to minimise exposure of their horses. Horse owners should talk with their private veterinarian about vaccinating their horse. Horses should be kept away from flowering and fruiting trees that are attractive to bats. Any fruit lying underneath trees should be picked up and disposed of before the horses are returned to the paddock. People are reminded to use good hygiene practices when handling horses. See more on the Hendra Virus at DPI NSW Read more about Hendra & Horses

  • Hendra Virus An unvaccinated 19 year old gelding at Murwillumbah died on 20 June 2015 after a short illness. The attending veterinarian advised that there was a slight nasal discharge when he collected samples from the dead horse. Laboratory testing of all the samples were positive to Hendra virus. There has been minimal human and companion animal contact with the horse. Three other horses were in contact with the dead horse and they all remain well. One of the horses had moved from the property recently and that property has also been quarantined. The dead horse has been buried and the property has been quarantined. All in contact horses are being tested and vaccinated and remain under observation. The case is being managed by the North Coast Local Land Service. A flying fox roost is located in the district.

    Hendra Vaccination

    Vaccination of horses against Hendra virus is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in both horses and humans. Human infection and deaths have occurred following high-level exposure to body fluids from infected horses. Vaccinating horses is an important measure to prevent this occurring and provides a public health and workplace health and safety benefit.

    Reminder to Horse Owners

    1. This is the season when Hendra virus is more common in NSW i.e. the cooler months of the year.
    2. Horse owners should talk to their vet about vaccinating their horses for Hendra virus to protect both the horses and their human handlers.
    3. The symptoms of Hendra virus infection are not specific. Horses may be listless, feverish, show signs of colic, neurological signs (wobbly, head tilt, unusual gait etc), respiratory symptoms, abnormal behaviour or die suddenly.
    4. Owners with sick horses should contact their local veterinarian who will notify a Local Lands Service inspector or an inspector with DPI if they consider the case highly suspect for Hendra virus. If your veterinarian is unavailable, and the horse’s illness is progressing rapidly, call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.
    5. Owners should be aware of the risks associated with handling sick horses. The signs of Hendra virus are quite variable so all sick horses should be handled cautiously and carefully and with as little contact as possible.
    6. Children, domestic pets and other companion horses should not contact sick horses.

    Management of suspect Hendra cases

    • Always use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling sick horses
    • DO NOT allow sick horses to be handled by children or other people.
    • Isolate sick horses from pets or other horses.
    • DO NOT allow dogs or other animals to contact sick or dead horses. Keep them away from the sick horse and its body fluids.
    • DO NOT move sick horses to another area as this may spread the infection.

    Further information

    The DPI website contains further information - Hendra virus. Other contact details include: NSW Health has a factsheet that has important information regarding human health risks for Hendra virus - Hendra factsheet or phone NSW Health on 1300 066 055. Work Health and Safety Responsibilities (phone Workcover Authority of NSW 131050). Read more about Hendra & Horses