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Vets Urge Govt To Reverse Support For EI Vaccination

Friday, 28th May 2010

Australia's peak veterinary body "has urged the federal government to reverse its decision to support voluntary vaccination against the equine influenza virus," reported thoroughbrednews.com.au. Australian Veterinary Association president Dr Mark Lawrence said his organisation "completely opposed the decision when there was no outbreak" & declared: "There can be no justification for this decision on scientific, economic or practical grounds. All inquiries into vaccination against EI have indicated it is an expensive option, which would have a negative impact on the way the Australian horse industry operates. The government's approach won't prevent an outbreak & it won't save jobs. If there is an outbreak, vaccination will only delay detection. Vaccinated horses will still need to be subject to movement stand-still, because they can still spread the disease." However Thoroughbred Breeders Australia has "applauded the federal government's support of voluntary vaccination" with chief executive Peter McGauran commenting vets had "antiquated opinions" & no experience of EI except for the 2007 outbreak. McGauran emphasised voluntary vaccination would allow thoroughbred horses to move during an EI outbreak "enabling the continuation of racing and breeding" & summed-up in a statement: "The Australian veterinary profession has largely fallen far behind international developments on the preventative measures used to minimise the risk of EI."

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