Biosecurity Advice 2013/17 - final policy review of the import risk analysis report for horses from approved countries

1 August 2013

This Biosecurity Advice advises that the Import risk analysis report for horses from approved countries: final policy review has been finalised.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) advises that it has finalised the review of the Import risk analysis report for horses from approved countries: final report (released in March 2010). This review was foreshadowed in the Australian Government’s response to recommendation 35 of the Report of the equine influenza inquiry (2008).

Once the necessary arrangements for implementation have been completed, the policy will be taken into account by decision makers when considering import permit applications in accordance with the Quarantine Act 1908 and Quarantine Proclamation 1998 as amended.

Biosecurity Australia Advice 2011/18 (31 October 2011) advised stakeholders of the commencement of this review and invited submissions from interested parties. Biosecurity Advice 2013/2 (22 January 2013) invited stakeholders to comment on the draft policy review during a 60-day consultation period.

DAFF completed this policy review after considering all stakeholder comments. This policy review also takes into account stakeholder submissions received following the announcement of the review, 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 from approved countries. This policy review also applies to the importation of donkeys and mules from approved countries.

Key proposals of the draft policy review were revision of biosecurity measures for contagious equine metritis, equine influenza, equine piroplasmosis and equine viral arteritis, and removal of biosecurity measures for horse pox and West Nile fever.

DAFF made a number of changes to the draft policy review following consideration of stakeholder comments. These changes include:

  • clarifying the clause referring to equine influenza vaccination
  • clarifying testing and vaccination requirements for equine viral arteritis
  • reinstating the inadvertently omitted requirement for laboratory reports and any other supporting documents to be attached to the veterinary certificate
  • adding an appendix to the biosecurity measures for horses that have been in more than one approved country during the 60 days before export
  • making editorial corrections and amendments for clarification, and including additional supporting scientific information.

In future, DAFF will adopt a progressive review process to take account of scientific developments as they occur to ensure that Australia’s biosecurity measures for the importation of horses remain appropriate.

Next steps and implementation

Considerable consultation and planning is still required before revised biosecurity measures are implemented. Specific biosecurity measures and health certificates will need to be developed with each approved country to reflect that country’s animal health status. Under best endeavours, DAFF will seek to implement—but cannot guarantee—the revised post-arrival quarantine conditions by September 2013.  In the meantime, the current import conditions apply until further notification is received from DAFF.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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