Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) encourages all breeders sending mares interstate for the coming season to consider their transport plans well ahead of any movements.
TBA has been liaising with state and federal authorities and all governments have stated that breeding remains an essential agricultural activity. As such, thoroughbreds can be moved interstate.
However, anybody transporting horses will need an appropriate border permit for the states they are travelling to and from.
“The message from state governments has been very clear; that breeding is an essential activity and moving a mare between states to be covered is also an essential operational activity,” says Tom Reilly, TBA’s chief executive.
“But I would urge breeders, especially if they are moving horses themselves rather than using a transport company, to look at the application process for the permit they will need to travel and return from interstate.”
These permits often come with restrictions and each person travelling with a horse will need their own documentation and to carry identification.
For example, those travelling from Victoria to NSW will be required to keep a log of their movements while in their home state and then need to self isolate when in NSW. Those travelling into Queensland will also be required to remain isolated from the general public and keep records of where they have been.
In addition to having a valid border permit, TBA recommends that any farm worker moving horses across state boundaries carries a letter from their employer stating that they are carrying out an essential agricultural activity.
“While border permits are essential, I believe that if farm staff also carry a letter stating that they are an employee and that they are carrying out an essential agricultural activity it may avoid delays or confusion at borders,” added Reilly.
“The situation with borders has obviously changed a number of times in recent weeks, so I think having a letter can only help when travelling between jurisdictions.”
TBA suggests a simple short letter that states the person travelling the horse is an employee and they are moving the mare to be covered as part of essential agricultural activity. It should also be dated and have the contact details of the employer farm.
TBA is in ongoing dialogue with state and federal governments and will send out further updates when they are available.