Horse owners reminded to vaccinate against Hendra virus

The onset of colder weather is a timely reminder for horse owners to make sure their livestock is vaccinated against Hendra virus infection.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Hendra virus infection could occur throughout the year, but in the past it had been more prevalent during the cooler months.

“A registered vaccine is available to help prevent Hendra virus disease in horses,” Mr Furner said.

“Vaccination of horses is the most effective way to help manage Hendra virus disease. It also provides a public health and work health and safety benefit by reducing the risk of Hendra virus transmission to humans and other susceptible animals.”

Biosecurity Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said the Hendra virus vaccine first became available at the end of 2012. Since then, there have been very few cases of Hendra virus in horses in Queensland and we want to keep it that way.

“If a horse becomes sick, owners should contact their veterinarian immediately,” Dr Crook said.

“People in contact with horses need to remember to continue to practise good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures, even if a horse is vaccinated against Hendra virus.”

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