We're still struggling

A veterinarian collecting a blood sample from a horse for lab testing during the 2007 equine influenza outbreak in Australia.
A veterinarian collecting a blood sample from a horse for lab testing during the 2007 equine influenza outbreak in Australia. NSW Department Of Primary Industries

DARLING Downs horse breeders have jumped on the class action bandwagon to sue the Federal Government for the spread of equine influenza in 2007.

Nobby's Wattle Brae Stud principal Gary Turkington is one of 600 class action applicants so far working with Attwood Marshall Lawyers and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to sue the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

"We're hoping to get the compensation we deserve," Mr Turkington said.

"I lost a lot of money, went through a lot of heartache and have been in a very bad financial position which I would have never been in if they did their job properly."

An inquiry into the case by lawyers revealed the outbreak at Eastern Creek Quarantine Station that tore across eastern Australia could have well been avoided.

"In this inquiry, it came out that there was a huge amount of negligence and disappointment with the way it was handled by the government," Mr Turkington said.

Clear Mountain Fairview stud principal Bob Frappell, who was president of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association at the time of the outbreak, said the industry was still struggling to stay afloat after the effects of EI.

"Markets have altered, people have got out of the industry altogether, amateur players dropped off and expenses were huge to recover, and a lot of people went bankrupt," Mr Frappell said.

"We've really felt it and haven't got over the effects of EI yet, five years on."

Freecall 1800 675 346 for more details.

Topics:  class action, darling downs, equine influenza, horse breeders



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