The Queensland Government is reminding horse owners and veterinarians to vaccinate horses for the deadly Hendra virus.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the identification by researchers of a Hendra virus variant in samples collected in recent years was a timely reminder of the need for horses to be vaccinated.
“The research findings highlight the importance of horse owners and vets to remain vigilant in areas previously thought to be outside the range of Hendra spill over events,” Mr Furner said.
“After reviewing this research, Biosecurity Queensland’s advice to horse owners and veterinarians remains the same – vaccination of horses is the most effective way to help manage Hendra virus disease.
“A registered vaccine is available to help prevent Hendra virus disease in horses.
“Additionally, sound hygiene and biosecurity measures should be adopted as routine practice for all horse contact.”
Mr Furner said, although the general biosecurity risk to the horse industry had not changed, the identification of a new variant should be a reminder to all members of the industry.
“Hendra virus infection has potentially serious health implications for both humans and horses,” Mr Furner said.
“Owners who suspect a horse might be infected with Hendra virus should immediately contact their veterinarian.”
Detailed information about Hendra virus is available at www.daf.qld.gov.au.