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Freedman & Hayes Say Vic Should Be 1st Priority
Meanwhile Victoria's leading trainers Lee Freedman & David Hayes "have called on the Federal & Victorian Governments to immediately act on vaccinating the Victorian thoroughbred population while they still have a chance to safeguard the Victorian spring & autumn carnivals," reported racenet.com.au. Freedman declared bluntly: "The horse has bolted in NSW & Queensland, so they should ensure our industry continues to function at full capacity. Selectively vaccinating a small number of horses stabled at Caulfield, Flemington & Cranbourne will guarantee the decimation of the Victorian spring & autumn carnivals." Hayes "agreed with Freedman that Victoria should be the number one national priorty when the vaccination arrives in the country later in the week" noting: "Protecting Victorian racing is the only sensible strategy on a national basis. In NSW we have already seen the outcome of a venue-by-venue approach. It results in a poorer product that generates lower turnover & which ultimately fails to prevent the spread of equine influenza. The approach taken so far to close the borders has been quite successful, but we need to continue to take a whole-of-state approach as we escalate our response. NSW & Queensland are contaminated: we need to protect Victoria or there will be no Australian racing industry for the foreseeable future. The racing industry -- owners, trainers, jockeys & workers - along with the public & local economy, need the Victorian spring & autumn carnivals to be as big as they can be. The only way to guarantee that is to urgently vaccinate as many horses as possible as soon as possible".