Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment is among 13 international runners in Australia, will complete a minimum of 14 days’ mandatory post-arrival quarantine before embarking on their spring carnival racing campaigns.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the 9-year-old Irish superstar was one of four international horses to touch down at Tullamarine Airport on the weekend.
“All animals that arrive in Australia from overseas, including Melbourne Cup winners, must comply with our biosecurity conditions and spend time in quarantine to ensure they don’t bring pests or diseases in with them,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This year’s contenders will quarantine at either the International Horse Centre at Werribee, Melbourne or Canterbury Park International Horse Centre, Sydney.
“These government approved facilities mean that horses can continue track work while in quarantine where they must undergo strict, mandatory testing to ensure that Australia remains free of diseases like equine influenza and equine piroplasmosis.”
Minister Littleproud said Australia is a leader in equine health and research.
“Researchers funded by the Australian Government’s Biosecurity Innovation Program identified a new Hendra variant and subsequently developed a test to detect the potentially fatal virus in horses,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Just last week we had a case of this variant in a horse near Newcastle confirmed using this test.”
“Biosecurity is every-one’s, and every-equine’s business. My department provides strict biosecurity oversight of all horses, donkeys and mules imported into Australia. Each horse is treated the same, whether it is a racehorse, shuttle stallion, breeding stock or companion animal.
“I am proud that Australians can take a punt on international champions while being assured that we are protecting our industries, environment and communities from unwanted pests and diseases.