Nearly 40 stallions from Europe and the US are due to arrive in Australia today — a year after the country’s equine influenza outbreak.

Before they go to the Hunter Valley Studs the stallions will spend 3 weeks in quarantine. This will test the efficiency of the heightened quarantine procedures.

President of the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association Oliver Tait told ABC news in Australia: “All of the participants obviously are complying with those regulations and the biosecurity of Australia is paramount.

“It is important, as we go forward, that they are continually reviewed and that it facilitates the importation of horses, but doesn’t in any way compromise the biosecurity of Australia.”

Equine flu in was detected in New South Wales on 24 August 2007, after several Japanese racing stallions arrived at the quarantine station in Sydney soon after a flu outbreak in Japan.

Last year nearly 50,000 horses in Australia were affected and the country went into lock-down not allowing horses in or out.

The last recorded case was in December 2007.

Restrictions on horse movement were lifted on 28 February 2008 and Australia was declared officially free from equine flu in July — 11 months after the original outbreak.

The outbreak led to the cancellation of the 2007 Sydney Spring Carnival and the Queensland Summer Carnival and also threatened the Melbourne Cup.

The country is still suffering the effects, especially the racing industry, with the outbreak costing them millions of dollars.