DIRECT importation of horses from Hong Kong to Australia was suspended early last October because of biosecurity concerns related to a training facility in China, according to a statement from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
The Department cited evidence of equine diseases in China that would “devastate” Australia’s horse industries if they arrived on our shores.
“The 2007 equine influenza outbreak was devastating for Australia’s equine industry, costing Australia $455m,” the DAWR statement read.
“The onus is on Hong Kong and Chinese government authorities to provide the information necessary to show that these potential disease risks are being managed to the very low level required to import horses into Australia.”
The Department said it had sent “questionnaires” to official agencies in Hong Kong and China in support of its assessment of the equine disease status and biosecurity controls to manage risks to Australia.