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The intended outcome of this document is to inform aircraft operations personnel of their biosecurity requirements and obligations to comply when they are involved with import of horses from countries other than New Zealand and New Caledonia.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act), imported horses are subject to biosecurity control and require an isolation order. The isolation provisions include restricted access to enter the controlled area around the aircraft/horses and decontamination requirements for those admitted to the controlled area.
These conditions apply to all aircraft operations personnel who have permission to enter the controlled area to assist with the import of horses by aircraft. Personnel include cargo handlers, airport ground staff operators and air crew members.
Note: For the purpose of these requirements, biosecurity risk material (BRM) includes horse feed, horse bedding, manure and any plant material attached to horse equipment.
Permission to enter the controlled area is subject to the following conditions:
- The airline must appoint a co-ordinator to assist the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department), in managing the clearance of horses.
- All personnel must work cooperatively and comply with biosecurity officer directions.
- Appropriate personnel/contractors must be available for cleaning the aircraft and/or corral.
- The following table outlines what equipment is required for the airport clearance of imported horses and who must supply it:
|Equipment||Responsibility for supply|
|Showers, Soap, Towels||As arranged between the department and importers|
|Disinfectants e.g. Virkon, alcohol based antibacterial hand gel and alcohol wipes||
|Water glass solution||Waste contractor|
|Change of clothes||Employee/Employee’s company|
Personnel biosecurity requirements
Category A – includes grooms, veterinarians and anyone who touches a horse or the inside of a horse air-stall.
Whether or not directed by a department biosecurity officer, persons that come into direct or very close contact with horses or the horse air-stall must:
- shower before leaving the corral area at the airport and surrender clothing to a department biosecurity officer for laundering and change into new clothing. Footwear must be inspected and cleaned/scrubbed by a biosecurity officer as required; or
- proceed directly to the post-arrival quarantine facility to shower, change into clean clothing and footwear, and surrender the dirty clothing and footwear to a department biosecurity officer for laundering.
Category B – includes those personnel located in the corral or aircraft hold who may be in contact with BRM but not in direct contact with horses or the inside of horse air-stalls.
- cleaners, Aircraft Hold Officer, department staff;
- tug drivers if not supervised by biosecurity officers; and
- personnel performing duties in the vicinity of horses and BRM and are not directly supervised by a biosecurity officer.
Category B personnel must:
- wear dedicated clothing (e.g. material or disposable overalls) while working in the controlled area, and/or aircraft hold;
- not contact horses or horse air-stalls. If there is exposure (e.g. direct contact with a horse or in-contact equipment) then the person is classified as Category A and requires full decontamination;
- wash hands with soap and water or alcohol based antibacterial gel/alcohol wipes before leaving the controlled area;
- present their footwear for inspection. If there is visible dirt on footwear it must be cleaned and disinfected; and
- remove disposable overalls following their use and dispose of them as biosecurity waste.
Category C – includes those personnel with duties outside the vicinity of horses and are not in contact with BRM/or are directly supervised by a department officer.
- scissor lift operators, ramp drivers, on board cargo handlers who only touch the outside of the horse air-stalls;
- Australian Border Force officers, flight crew, MDL operator and main panel operators;
- tug drivers in the controlled area but remaining on the tug, supervised by department staff and not contacting any part of the controlled area;
- lower deck loader operators, lower deck drivers and refuelling officers.
Category C personnel must:
- remain clear of the operations so that no additional biosecurity measures are required;
- keep away from horses and horse air-stalls;
- submit for inspection when leaving the controlled area to determine if clothing and footwear are clean and free from contamination with BRM; and
- advise a biosecurity officer if they are likely to have contact with horses within the next 12 hours.
Note: If a biosecurity officer sees or suspects Category C personnel have been exposed to a horse, the inside of a horse air-stall, or BRM they may reclassify the person to Category A or B (as appropriate) and require them to undergo decontamination as per that category.
Category C personnel that are clean from any BRM and not likely to have contact with horses within the next 12 hours do not require any specific decontamination measures.
Cargo biosecurity requirements
Where a department officer directs cargo on board to be treated or decontaminated, the person(s) responsible for the aircraft must comply with that direction. For cargo transiting to another Australian first point of entry, treatment may be completed at that arrival port, or when unloaded at the final Australian destination, if required.
Aircraft biosecurity requirements
Where a department officer directs that treatment of the aircraft occur, the person(s) responsible for the aircraft must comply with the direction.
Non-compliance with these conditions
Failure to comply with the above conditions may constitute an offence under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
The following table contains administrative metadata.
|Instructional material owner:||Director, Horse, Livestock and Bird Imports Program|
|Freedom of information exemption:||No|
|Records Manager container number:||2014/11556E|
|Review date:||July 2023|
The following table details the published date and amendment details for this document.
|8.0||16/6/2016||Updates to comply with the Biosecurity Act 2015.|
Updates to improve consistency and readability.
General updates to improve readability