Notice to Industry 3: Transport drivers - Biosecurity requirement

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The outcome of this document is for transport drivers involved with the transport of imported live horses from the airport to the post arrival quarantine (PAQ) isolation facility to be informed of their biosecurity requirements and their obligation to comply with these requirements.  This document excludes horse imports from New Zealand and New Caledonia.

This document is provided for information only. To the extent that this document is inconsistent with any import permit, direction, industry notice or authorisation to enter a quarantine isolation facility, the terms and conditions of the import permit, direction, industry notice or authorisation to enter a quarantine isolation facility take precedence and will apply. Failure to comply with a condition of an import permit, direction, industry notice or authorisation to enter a quarantine isolation facility may constitute an offence.


The import of live horses is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the department). The department has developed conditions for the import of horses to ensure that any potential biosecurity risks can be managed. Strict pre-export and post-arrival biosecurity requirements apply to imported horses (excluding horses from New Zealand and New Caledonia), and all people and goods that come into contact with imported horses.

The primary disease of concern when handling imported horses is equine influenza (EI). This disease can be transmitted via an infected horse, either directly or via people or equipment in contact with an infected horse. The EI virus can be inactivated in a variety of ways, including by using soaps, detergents, acids and oxidising agents (such as Virkon).

Transport drivers involved with the loading and unloading of imported live horses have the potential to transmit EI virus, even if they have had minimal contact with the animals. Horse transport vehicles also carry a high risk of transmitting EI. The Biosecurity Act 2015 provides biosecurity officers with the authority to give directions to or require a person who may have been exposed to a disease or pest, such as by contact with goods that are subject to biosecurity control (i.e. imported horses and horse equipment), to do certain things. These directions or requirements may include undertaking appropriate decontamination measures.

Personal Biosecurity Requirements

Transport drivers are required to:

  • Change into department issued overalls on arrival at the corral.
  • Wear disposable overalls over these department issued overalls while in the corral area.
  • Once all horses and grooms are loaded into the trucks and the door seals are in place, remove disposable overalls.
  • Wash exposed areas (face and hands) with soap and water or antibacterial gel, and clean and disinfect footwear if visible dirt is present, before leaving the corral area.
  • Proceed to the quarantine isolation facility.
  • After horses have been unloaded, surrender the department overalls for laundering and footwear for cleaning and disinfection (if required).
  • Undertake a complete head to toe, full body 3 minute shower (including washing hair and cleaning under fingernails).
  • Change back into their own fresh clothes (including underwear and socks) and clean footwear.

Refer to Reference: Personnel - biosecurity requirements (2.11) for more information.

Any personal equipment (e.g. mobile phones, tablets, paperwork, eyeglasses etc) used on site at the corral or horse compound must either:

    • Remain in the horse compound until the end of PAQ isolation OR
    • Be decontaminated prior to leaving the corral / horse compound by wiping down the equipment with alcohol wipes OR
    • For simple jewellery, it may be permitted to enter and leave the horse compound if it can be adequately disinfected.
Note: If drivers do not wish to wear two sets of overalls in the corral, they may submit an alternative proposal for keeping the cabin of the truck clean. Alternatives may include either a plastic seat cover (washable/disposable) or showering out at the corral prior to entering the cabin to drive to the quarantine facility.

Requirements in the corral

  • Horse transport vehicles should be cleaned prior to arrival at the corral to transport imported horses. Straw, sawdust and other plant material should not be used as bedding in the trucks prior to loading imported horses.
  • Once the horses, equipment and personnel have been loaded into the vehicle, the doors will be sealed by a biosecurity officer.

Note that the door to the grooms’ compartment will not be sealed for WH&S reasons.

  • The department will issue a biosecurity direction to the transport driver for the transport vehicle to be treated (cleaned and disinfected) at the quarantine isolation facility.
  • The department will issue a biosecurity direction to the importer for the movement of the horses, equipment and groom(s)/vet(s) to the quarantine isolation facility.
  • Transport drivers must provide the department with their name, vehicle registration number and contact number.
  • Transport drivers will be provided with the contact details of the horse coordinator, escort (if used) and horse compound manager (or delegate).

Note: Transport drivers must be familiar with the contingency plan in the event of an emergency or accident en route to the quarantine isolation facility (submitted to the department by the importer). They must carry a copy of this and Reference: Emergency personnel decontamination information (4.1) with them during transport of the horses from the airport to the quarantine isolation facility.

Requirements for transport to the quarantine isolation facility

Transport vehicles must proceed directly to the quarantine isolation facility.
The requirements for transport to the quarantine isolation facility will be detailed on the form: Contact Details and information for transport driver – MUST CARRY (2.5). The transport drivers are required to:

  • Tell a biosecurity officer of the route being taken to the quarantine isolation facility before leaving the corral.
  • Contact the horse coordinator / escort or horse compound manager (or delegate) if they are required to stop en route for any reason.
  • Carry documentation with the horses and deliver these to the horse compound manager (or delegate) on arrival at the horse compound.

Requirements at the horse compound in the quarantine isolation facility

Transport drivers are required to:

  • Stop at the security point and advise security they are transporting horses when entering the quarantine isolation facility.

Note: Drivers and any passengers must not exit the vehicle until directed by a biosecurity officer when they reach the unloading zone of the horse compound.

  • Be given authorisation by the department to enter the horse compound. To be eligible for authorisation drivers must:
    • Be authorised by the importer of the horses. The importer will provide the department with the relevant authorisation form for each driver.
    • Completed quarantine isolation facility site induction. If drivers have not completed the training, on arrival at the horse compound drivers must read and sign the form: Authorisation for a veterinarian, farrier or other authorised visitor to access the horse compound at PEQ Mickleham in relation to a consignment (3.8b) in the presence of a biosecurity officer or the relevant authorisation form for Approved Arrangement Sites (AA sites). Drivers are required to comply with all requirements outlined in this document. Transport drivers will be escorted while in the horse compound and should complete the training prior tore-entering the horse compound in the future.
    • Drivers are required to sign and comply with the requirements of the relevant authorisation form to gain a 12-month authorisation to enter the horse compound.
    • Non-essential visitors  and unauthorised personnel will not be permitted by the department to enter the horse compound.
  • Complete and sign form: Authorised horse visitors register (3.7) in the presence of a biosecurity officer upon entry or in accordance with the approved procedures for the AA site.
  • Transport drivers will be given dedicated footwear to wear while in the horse compound.
  • Wait until a biosecurity officer is present to supervise before breaking of the door seals and unloading horses.
  • Give any health certificates, other documentation and bagged labelled clean clothing/footwear to the biosecurity officer on arrival.
  • Once the horses have been unloaded and when directed by the biosecurity officer, move the vehicle to the wash area for cleaning.
  • For government facilities, clean the compartments of the truck to ensure all animal faecal matter and bedding has been removed.
  • For government facilities, the biosecurity officer will spray all compartments with disinfectant. When directed by the biosecurity officer, the transport driver must wash off the disinfectant after it has been left on all surfaces of all compartments for the minimum contact time.
  • Once the truck has been cleaned and disinfectedand while the transport driver is showering, the wheels will be treated with Virkon and the cabin of the truck will be inspected by the department for biosecurity risk material (BRM). All surfaces that have been in contact with horses and or BRM (including the drivers’ feet and hands) will be cleaned using alcohol wipes. This may include driving controls, door handles, internal panels and upholstery and floor mats.
  • On exit, sign out of the horse compound / AA site using form: Authorised horse visitors register (3.7).


The department will:

  • Advise all non department personnel of their biosecurity requirements prior to the arrival of horse stalls during the clearance.
  • Designate a biosecurity officer to act as a coordinator for the shipment. This officer will be clearly identified in the corral area, and will be responsible for coordinating the treatment directions issued for personnel or vehicles.
  • Record the details of all personnel associated with boarding the aircraft and/or present in the corral.
  • Supply all necessary equipment identified in the table below as being supplied by the department.
  • Direct personnel, cargo, equipment and vehicles for appropriate treatment, depending on the level of biosecurity risk posed.
  • Verify that all directions issued by biosecurity officers are complied with.

Transport drivers will ensure that:

  • They complete training and sign the authorisation form for entry into the quarantine isolation facility.
  • If required, they attend a briefing conducted by the department for a shipment.
  • They are aware of their obligation to comply with the directions of, and ensure they work cooperatively with, biosecurity officers.
  • Procedures detailed above are understood and complied with.
  • All directions issued by a biosecurity officer are complied with.



Responsibility for supply

Disposable clothing and overalls

The department

Showers, Soap, Towels

The department

Foot bath containing Virkon solution and hand disinfectant

The department

Door seals

The department

Virkon and equipment to clean trucks at the horse compound.

The department

Change of clothes (including underwear and socks)


Document information

The following table contains administrative metadata.

Document owner:

Director, Horse, Livestock and Bird Imports Program

Document ID:


FOI exemption:


TRIM file number:


Review date:

June 2019

Version history

The following table details the published date and amendment details for this document.



Amendment details



To inform transport drivers of their biosecurity requirements, to incorporate comments from AQIS regions, the HICC and information from the December 2007 SOP.



To update document following legal advice.



Amended following meeting on 13 May 2009.



Updated following internal audit. Updated on new template.



Updated for new quarantine facility.

6.016/6/2016Updates to comply with the Biosecurity Act 2015
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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