Media Release

Foreign raiders enter the biosecurity barrier

21 October 2013

With this year’s Victorian Spring Racing Carnival underway, international horses competing in our world-renowned races have arrived in Melbourne to complete mandatory quarantine.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the horses must enter the country with enough time to check that they are not bringing in any dangerous pests or diseases that could be a biosecurity risk.

“This year 21 horses have arrived from the UK and one horse from Hong Kong. Our job is to ensure they are free of any potential risks that could impact on our domestic horse population, as well as other horses competing in the carnival,” Minister Joyce said.

“Each horse was inspected and cleared by our biosecurity veterinary officers before being transported to the Werribee International Horse Centre, where the horses remain in quarantine for at least 14 days.

“They are now recovering from the flights and finalising preparations for their assault on some of the most prestigious races on the Australian racing calendar, thanks to the diligent work of our Department of Agriculture officers.”

The Department of Agriculture manages the import of all animals into Australia and works with the racing industry to manage biosecurity risks ahead of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the biggest annual racing event on the Australian calendar.

"Post entry quarantine is part of an integrated and coordinated system of biosecurity implemented to protect Australia from unwanted pests and disease," Minister Joyce said.

“Equally important is the mandatory quarantine in approved facilities prior to arrival in Australia.”

The first consignment of 10 horses have finished their quarantine and are already proving their worth, with Dandino placing second in the Caulfield Cup at the weekend. The latest arrivals will begin their quarantine today and includes previous cup winner Dunaden.