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NSW Govt Calls For Quarantine Reforms
NSW Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald announced "disturbing" quarantine issues have arisen in the draft recommendations of the inquiry by former High Court judge Ian Callinan into last year's Equine Influenza outbreak & declared the Federal Government must act immediately to reform Australia's quarantine system to ensure diseases like EI are halted at the border. Macdonald noted: "With the release of the draft Callinan documents, there is some disturbing stuff indeed. "We need, as a priority, to fix up our airport facilities so that equine influenza couldn't escape from that possible source of infection and, as well, our quarantine stations, which it is quite clear were not up to scratch. If it had been a disease that impacted on human health, it could have been totally disastrous." Macdonald said in the 6 months since EI was discovered in NSW, more than 40,000 horses across 6,000 properties became infected; as a result, transport bans plus industry & racing sector shutdowns cost the Australian economy an estimated $300 million.