Horse flu's huge impact on the economy
The Australian Horse Industry Council has released an Equine Influenza Economic Impact Study, revealing just how significant the cost of the horse flu has been, with small communities the hardest hit.
In the survey, the 2700 respondents estimated that there were losses of $29 million per week between August and December 2007.
The financial assistance available through government grant payments have only offset these losses by 8.5pc, the report states.
The greatest losses were in the not-for-profit sector and at the local community level.
AHIC president, Dr Barry Smyth, said that if the losses estimated by the survey respondents were applied to the whole of the Australian horse industry, "then the total would be in the billions".
Losses were significantly more than those estimated in a previous survey conducted in September 2007, Dr Smyth said.
The positive news is that the efforts to control the Equine Influenza outbreak and eradicate it from Australia seemed to have been successful, with no new cases reported in 2008.