Epidemic Hit Shoers' Pocketbooks Hard

Australian farriers lost an average of 76 days work during a 7-month long equine-influenza quarantine

If a serious equine disease outbreak were to limit your travel and work, let’s hope you don’t find yourself in the same situation as Bryn Jones. After an equine influenza (EI) outbreak hit Australia last August, the “down-under” farrier lost 130 days of work over the next 7 months.

“There were many weeks when I was unable to work at all,” says the farrier from Ipswich in Queensland. “A month after the quarantine was lifted, my hoof-care work was still only about half of what it had been prior to the EI outbreak. But I’m one of the lucky ones because a number of farriers had to leave the business and seek work elsewhere in order to keep their families and houses.”

Even non-related diseases can cause serious economic concerns for horseshoers, as British farriers found out a few years ago. Work for farriers was severely limited after portions of England were hit with a foot-and-mouth disease situation with cattle, hogs and sheep.

Imported Horses Raise Havoc

On Aug. 17, EI was confirmed in imported horses at a quarantine station in Sydney. Within 2 months, more than 5,000 horses had contracted EI. At the peak of the outbreak, over 47,000 horses located on 6,000 properties in New South Wales were impacted by the quarantine.

Stallions transported from the United States for off-season breeding were stuck in quarantine stations and leading money winners from Europe and Japan couldn’t run in Australia’s most prestigious races. There was also serious concern that the…

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Frank_lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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