All horse owners need to be aware of the threat posed by equine exotic diseases and to play a role in maintaining vigilance against their introduction. In Australia, we are fortunate to be free of many of the serious infectious diseases that can affect horses. A large part of this freedom is due to our strict but fair quarantine regulations, but it is up to all of us to help maintain this privileged position.
Those working with horses on a day-to-day basis should read this manual and appreciate the seriousness of an exotic disease reaching Australia. The manual will tell you what you can do to help minimise the likelihood of this occurring. The horse owner should also appreciate that any newly imported horse, or horses contacting a newly imported animal, which becomes ill should be attended to immediately, and the appropriate authorities contacted. The horse owner should be able to recognise unusual or unexpected signs in their horses, and they should know what to do if they suspect an exotic disease. It is important that we have vigilant horsemen and women to help our preparedness against exotic diseases in order to protect our growing equine industry.