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Biosecurity for Horse Owners

September 2017 by Dr Brett Tennent-Brown, BVSc, MS, Dip ACVIM, Dip ACVECC, U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre, University of Melbourne

Why is a biosecurity plan important for your property?

Until 2007, Australia was one of a handful of countries that had never experienced an outbreak of Equine Influenza (EI), a highly contagious viral disease of the respiratory tract. 

In animals that have been exposed to the virus previously and have, therefore, developed some degree of immunity, infection with the EI virus generally causes only mild disease. 

However, in horses with no immunity to the virus, disease is often more severe. Australian horses are highly susceptible to EI because they have not been exposed to the causative virus and they are not vaccinated against it; Australian horses are, therefore, immunologically ‘naïve’ with regards to EI.