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Posted by Equestrian Victoria on 13/10/2015.

Tooradin Estate Strangles Plan

Hi everyone,

After our meeting with Professor James Gilkerson and Dr Christine Demery we have been able to develop a management plan that will be put into action from this point onwards.
To begin with, Tooradin Estate has been commended on how we have managed the situation to date. James said we have done everything perfectly so far which is really encouraging.  
Dr James Gilkerson re-iterated that everyone must be very aware of the rules and follow instructions carefully. So far, we have done a good job containing the strangles and now have to move into the next stage of eliminating it. This will be a slow process, and everyone has to be very vigilant, continuing with biosecurity procedures until the entire property is cleared.  

MANAGEMENT PLAN for the various zones:

Below we have included a management plan for the various zones. If unsure which zone your horse is in please contact Sally to clarify. 

RED - Please be aware that the inner areas of Tooradin Estate are still a RED zone, and this part of the property remains in ISOLATION. This means minimal contact with horses in this area and strict biosecurity must be adhered to. We will continue caring for horses in these areas, and only essential outside service will be able to be used – (Sally’s farrier who is prepared to see red zone horses.)

We are recording the date that their clinical symptoms cease so we can move towards clearing these horses. 4-6 weeks after the clinical signs cease, the horses then have to be swabbed. They will receive three swabs, each one week apart to determine if they are still carrying the bacteria for Strangles. If all three swabs are negative, the horse is given the all clear. We will be providing more information about this process nearer to the time of commencement. (We are expecting this to be at the beginning of November approximately).

Red Zone areas include:

-        Tack Sheds, Barn, Feed Sheds, Float area
-        Isolation areas

  • Stockyards
  • Round yard
  • Brick wall yards
  • Front of house small paddock
  • Driveway private paddocks
  • Front Paddock
  • Bracken paddocks

ORANGE – At this stage we have a few paddocks remaining as orange zones. For these areas we are undertaking further blood testing and swabbing with the aim of being able to declare them as green zones shortly. In the meantime, orange zone horses must remain in their designated paddock and strict biosecurity must be adhered to. You will be able ride you horse in this paddock IF you follow the necessary procedure. Please discuss with Sally the procedures relevant for your paddock.

Orange Zone areas include:

-        Pond paddock
-        Lagoon paddock
-        Upper centre
-        Lower centre

GREEN – Horses in green zones are actually in a high risk situation, as they have not been exposed to the strangles bacteria, so continued vigilance is required. All green zone horses will need to start a strangles vaccination program. For further information regarding this process, contact Sally.

For those of you who have horses in green zones, you will now be able to resume visiting and riding your horses in their designated paddocks and road rides. Please discuss with Sally the necessary procedures for accessing and riding in your horse’s paddock.

Green zone horses are allowed to leave and return to the property. To do this you must discuss the biosecurity processes with Sally. The vets are able to provide documentation to prove your horse’s negative blood test results in the event that you need this to enter a competition or visit another property. Please contact Sally if you require this documentation and we will organise it on your behalf.

Green Zone areas include:

-        Out the back (cross country course)
-        Across the road

  • Pony Club paddock
  • Aunt Mary’s paddock

-        Boys paddock
-        Mares paddock
-        Peters paddock
-        Windmill Paddock
-        Station Road Paddock (hay paddock)


To ensure elimination of the strangles bacteria, there are some important protocols to follow.

Horse services - Only essential outside services to care for horses can be used. Owners must notify Sally if an outside service is required for their horse.

-        Vet – If your horse requires veterinary attention we recommend that Dr Christine Demery from Melbourne Equine Vet Group be used, as she is involved with our strangles plan.
-        Farrier – Sally has organised a select number of farriers that are willing to come onto the property to maintain horse’s feet. Please contact Sally to organise these farriers, or the use of your personal farrier.
-        Massage practitioners – Only allowed in green zones.
-        Dentist – No dentist can be used until the entire property is cleared.

Riding – Can only take place in your horse’s allocated paddock. You must contact Sally to discuss the necessary procedure.

Onsite buildings are in the process of being disinfected. They cannot be utilised until the property is deemed clear.

-        Tack room - No gear can return to tack rooms.
-        Barn – Cannot be utilised
-        Feed shed – we will be disinfecting all feed areas. If we feel your feed is contaminated we will dispose of it.

Moving green zone horses

-        You must talk to Sally about the procedure
-        You will need a written clearance from the vet
-        Be aware that not all property owners will accept your horse; this is ultimately up to them.
-        The vets have recommended the horse remain in isolation for 2-3 weeks on arrival at a new property for precaution.

In dealing with the strangles outbreak at Tooradin Estate, we have strived to be as open with the equestrian community as possible, and ask agistees to do the same.
We would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience as we move forward into the next stage of our strangles management plan.

Sally and support team

Please Note: Procedures outlines commenced on Friday 9th October. 

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