Suspension For Importation of Horses From Germany

Due to a recent discovery of a horse in Germany, testing positive to Glanders, the Australian Department of Agriculture has temporarily suspended the importation of horses from Germany, for a minimum of 6 months (up to 30th July 2015).

Any clients that have had horses in Germany, for any time since 26th November 2014 will NOT be able to import their horse to Australia for a period 6 months.

The horse that tested positive was euthanised immediately. It was being prepared for export to USA by another shipping agent and it was located in a different district to our Australian approved quarantine farm location.

Equine International Airfreight communicate regularly with the Australian Department of Agriculture and will continue to monitor the situation, which is being determined by both the Australian and German authorities.

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact our office on +61 2 8817 0300.


What is Glanders?

Glanders is a contagious, short- or longterm, usually fatal disease of the horse family caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei. The disease is characterized by the development of ulcerating growths that are most commonly found in the upper respiratory tract, lungs, and skin. Humans and other animals are also susceptible, and infections are usually fatal. Glanders once was prevalent worldwide. It has now been eradicated or effectively controlled in many countries.

The disease is commonly contracted by consuming food or water contaminated by the nasal discharge of carrier animals. The organism can survive in a contaminated area for more than 1 year, particularly under humid, wet conditions.

After an incubation period of about 2 weeks, affected animals usually have blood infection and a high fever (up to 106°F [41°C]). Later, a thick nasal discharge is seen and the animal has trouble breathing and other respiratory signs. Death can occur within a few days. The longterm form of the disease is common in horses. It is a debilitating condition with ulcers and growths on the skin and in the nose. Infected animals may live for years and spread the bacteria widely. The outlook is unfavorable. Recovered animals may not develop immunity.

In the skin form (also called farcy), growths appear along the course of the lymph vessels, particularly on the legs. These growths degenerate and form ulcers that discharge highly infectious, sticky pus.

There is no vaccine. Prevention and control depend on early detection and elimination of affected animals, as well as complete quarantine and rigorous disinfection of the area involved. Euthanasia is usually recommended for affected horses.


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