Melbourne Cup field clears biosecurity hurdles

Big Orange (GB), Bondi Beach (IRE) and Curren Mirotic (JAP) are among dozens of international thoroughbreds to have cleared quarantine ahead of their events at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne, all vying for a chance to race in the prestigious Melbourne Cup.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the international racing stars while highlighting the critical role biosecurity plays in keeping dangerous pests and diseases from threatening communities, the economy and the horse racing industry.

“When you say Melbourne Cup most people think fancy hats, champagne and the birdcage. Not many people would think biosecurity, although it’s one of the most important elements of the event. If horses don’t clear biosecurity hurdles, they don’t race,” Minister Joyce said.

“This year, Australia’s biosecurity staff managed 25 horses imported specifically for the 2016 Victorian Spring Racing Carnival, from approved pre-export quarantine facilities in Ireland, the UK and Japan.

“The Melbourne Cup features prominently on the world stage and is one of the world’s richest turf thoroughbred horse races. Enabling these international runners to contest the Cup means the race can truly be considered ‘world-class’.

“It’s pleasing to see such as strong field of competitors this year, with big names including Geelong Cup winner Qewy (IRE), Turnbull Stakes winner Hartnell (GB), Caulfield Cup winner Jameka (AUS) and well-known French horse Vadamos (FR).

“Having completed 14 days of mandatory pre-export quarantine overseas, the horses are inspected by biosecurity staff before heading to the Werribee International Horse Centre. They then complete a further 14 days of quarantine at the centre where they have access to on-site training tracks to maintain their form ahead of the races.

“Horses must also meet other strict import conditions as part of an integrated biosecurity system and be free from exotic diseases such as equine influenza, glanders and tick-borne diseases such as piroplasmosis, which could seriously affect other horses, their handlers and other animals if brought in to Australia.

“That is why it’s critical to get it right, the entry of disease could cause immeasurable damage to the racing industry and threaten the viability of future carnivals.”

  • 25 international horses complete mandatory quarantine ahead of the Spring Racing Carnival
  • Horses underwent quarantine and trained at Werribee International Horse Centre
  • Have been cleared of potentially devastating diseases including equine influenza, glanders and tick borne diseases such as piroplasmosis

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