The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association advises that the case of a Theileria equi sample from a mare at Cambridge Stud has been returned as positive.
There has never been a confirmed case of Theileria equi in New Zealand. Biosecurity New Zealand and MPI are carrying out a full investigation to confirm this is an isolated case, and as of this Friday morning extensive testing of in-contact animals has commenced to allow informed decisions to be made.
Some countries that import horses from New Zealand, including Australia, require certification that New Zealand is free of Theileria equi. This positive test result means that MPI cannot currently provide that assurance. For this reason a shipment of horses to Australia that was scheduled for the evening of 19 May was put on hold and another shipment scheduled for Friday is also delayed.
MPI’s market access specialists and live animal exports team have been working closely with Australian authorities on Friday to agree alternative assurances to allow exports to continue. Good progress is being made on the development of a testing regime to support this.
With confirmation of this positive result the NZ Equine Health Association will now work closely with Biosecurity New Zealand on any management approach.
The New Zealand equine industry has signed a Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity readiness and response.
The Biosecurity Act 1993 was amended in 2012 to include a framework that enables government and industry to work together in partnership through GIA to achieve the best possible outcomes from readiness or response activities by:
• Making joint decisions on biosecurity activities
• Jointly funding the costs of the activities in shares that take into account the public benefits and industry benefits that the activities deliver.