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Insurer Lloyd's Supports TBA Initiative
The equine industry's major insurance underwriter Lloyd's Of London yesterday added its support to recent Thoroughbred Breeders Australia efforts to salvage the remaining weeks of this year's breeding season. Lloyd's Sydney representative Keith Stern announced: Lloyd's Underwriters are prepared to support the initiative proposed by the TBA to allow movement of horses into & within infected areas to permit the breeding season to progress." TBA president John Messara commented: "We're grateful for Lloyd's practical approach to equine influenza here, because from all accounts those farms that have contracted it in the Hunter claim it only presents with mild symptoms. If the 2007 breeding industry is cancelled as a result of the equine influenza outbreak, losses to NSW breeders in particular will be considerable & there will be severe ramifications for other areas of the industry in future years. Independent research conducted for the TBA has estimated direct losses to NSW breeders from a significantly reduced 2008 foal crop at approximately $823 million should the 2007 season not go ahead. As a means of reducing these losses, the TBA is progressing with the concept of a special restricted zone in the Hunter." Messara noted: "We have the potential to substantially reduce the losses to the NSW breeding industry if we can commence serving mares by 15 September. Our research reveals that should a restricted zone be established & movement of mares allowed within that zone then, based on the birthdates of the 2006 foals, if serving could commence on that date 92.5% of the predicted losses could be saved. That's 5,620 foals & the minimum loss in such circumstances would be approximately $62 million. That remains a significant figure, but it will have far less catastrophic an effect across the industry than $823 million."