Australia%20Map%20RED%20LR.jpgWe’ve all heard about the benefits to Australian breeding of the shuttle concept, but we have never thought seriously about the downside. We’ve written often enough about our own reservations as far as South Africa is concerned in being able to compete for the best prospects, yet we tend to disregard the complexities surrounding protocols, quarantine etc., and now the Australians and New Zealanders have a major obstacle on their hands.

More than 30 of the world’s leading shuttle stallions will be held in quarantine for up to one month after a suspected case of equine influenza (EI) was discovered in Sydney. The shuttle stallions are among a group of 52 horses quarantined at Eastern Creek in Sydney’s west, while another 27 horses are in quarantine at Spotswood in Victoria. “While it’s too early to be certain, we suspect this to be one of the horses from Japan, given there has been an outbreak of EI in that country,” Peter McGuaran, the federal minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, said in a release. “AEI is an extremely serious matter and I will not take any risks with this disease getting into Australia.” He continues, “The extended quarantining of a number of Australia’s top stallions will have a serious effect on the horse breeding industry as the breeding season was due to start on Sept 1. Some of these stallions attract more than $100,000 per service and given they can service up to five mares a day, it will be a heavy financial loss for their studs. Regrettably, there is no way to facilitate their release from quarantine, which may stretch beyond the predicted 30 days if another horse displays symptoms consistent with EI.”

John MessaraJohn MessaraJohn Messara, president of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA), said an extended quarantine period would have a serious effect on next year’s foal crop, he said. “It will cut the season short by about a quarter,” Messara said. “If they are out in 30 days it won’t be too bad but there are a lot of horses with big books and it will congest the breeding season into the last couple of months. It will be very disruptive to the industry, particularly for horses with very large books of mares. The owners of mares who are due to be served early will have to look elsewhere.” The shuttle stallions were due to be released over the next few days with stallions due to start serving mares from Sept. 1, but were quarantined on Wednesday when three horses had to be treated for mild temperatures. McGauran said testing of all the horses would continue over the next few days.

The stallions in quarantine include Dubawi (Ire), Tiger Hill, Tobougg (Ire), Librettist, Dubai Destination , Country Reel, Mujahid, Red Ransom, Exceed and Excel (Aus), Cape Cross, Noverre, Shamardal, Refuse To Bend, Storming Home, Iffraaj, Ekraar, Elusive Quality, E Dubai, Bernardini, Henny Hughes, Consolidator, Black Hawk (GB), Snitzel, Grandera, Rock of Gibraltar, Stravinsky, Danehill Dancer, Choisir (Aus), Antonius Pius, Oratorio (Ire), Holy Roman Emperor (Ire), Aussie Rules, Ivan Denisovich (Ire), Encosta de Lago (Aus), Statue of Liberty, Ad Valorem, Rakti (GB) and Golden Snake.

Article from TDN 24/07/08