Ass-tounding feat for biosecurity control

22 April 2021

An American Mammoth Donkey has been imported into Australia directly from the USA for the first time in over 20 years.

Head of Biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Andrew Tongue, said that the department had issued the import permit for Diamond Creek Moonwatcher, an American Mammoth Donkey jack.

“Before Diamond Creek Moonwatcher could arrive at his new home in Australia, the department had to assess all treatment, testing and quarantine schedules and answer testing enquiries to make sure this American expat met all biosecurity requirements,” Mr Tongue said.

“Just like all horses, donkeys and mules who are imported into Australia, Moonwatcher had to spend 14 days in pre-export and 14 days in post-entry quarantine.

“Donkeys could be carrying diseases that Australia is currently free from, such as equine influenza, equine piroplasmosis, and contagious equine metritis.

“Diamond Creek Moonwatcher met all of Australia’s strict biosecurity requirements and is now expected to become the first of a line of robust donkeys and mules in Australia.

“His owner believes that mules are seriously underestimated in Australia and can be used for stock handling on properties and in cattle yards, and in sporting events such as dressage, camp drafting and barrel racing.”

For more information on importing live animals into Australia visit: Importing live animals and reproductive material.

Fast facts

  • American Mammoth Donkeys are a composite breed that were developed in the USA for breeding bigger and stronger mules.
  • At 15 hands (152 centimetres) high, Diamond Creek Moonwatcher is considerably bigger than the average Australian donkey (11 hands, or 111cm).
  • Moonwatcher was bought by his new owner, David Scholl, for his size and his ability to produce large, quality foals.