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Blocks To Horse Travel Removed
The Australian Racing Board announced "work to restore travel routes for Australian yearlings & racehorses is reaping excellent results". This includes:
- Japan: a health certificate has been agreed between Australia & Japan and "permission to export to Japan is now in place".
- UAE-Dubai: export conditions have been agreed & a health certificate "is awaiting final approval from the UAE veterinary authority".
- Hong Kong: a health certificate has been agreed between HK & Australia, with exports "approved to take place from specified pre-export quarantine premises"; restrictions will be further eased once Queensland declares freedom from EI (which will take place between March 14-20).
- Philippines: a health certificate has been agreed between Australia & Philippines.
- New Zealand: traffic from Australia to NZ "is the biggest issue that remains to be resolved, not just for yearlings sold to NZ buyers at forthcoming sales but also NZ entries that would traditionally participate in the Queensland racing carnival but will only travel over if they are assured they will be able to return home". In this regard "work is continuing in an endeavour to satisfy NZ Ministry Of Agriculture that it is safe to resume imports of Australian horses". NZ suspended all imports of Australian horses in August 2007 & in February 2008 released draft protocols involving "21 days pre-export isolation & 14 days post-arrival transitional holding". The ARB noted: "It is hoped those requirements can be further refined, because in their current form there would be doubts as to whether they could accommodate the pre-EI levels of trans-Tasman travel" (prior to the August 2007 EI outbreak 1,500 horses a year travelled from Australia to NZ, with approximately 700 of these permanent exports). The ARVB added: "Last week's declaration of EI freedom in NSW & the impending declaration of freedom in Queensland will hopefully facilitate this."