VIRUS CONTROL: Ahead of the colder months, Burnett owners are being urging by stat government to vaccinate their animals. Photo Lachie Millard
VIRUS CONTROL: Ahead of the colder months, Burnett owners are being urging by stat government to vaccinate their animals. Photo Lachie Millard

Burnett horse owners urged to vaccinate ahead of winter

MINISTER for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the onset of colder weather was a timely reminder for horse owners to make sure their livestock was vaccinated against Hendra virus infection.

Mr Furner said the infection could occur throughout the year, but in the past it had been more prevalent during the cooler months.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner. Photo: Stewart McLean
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner. Photo: Stewart McLean

“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.”

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Biosecurity Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said the Hendra virus vaccine first became available at the end of 2012.

Since then, she said there had been very few cases of Hendra virus in horses in Queensland and they wanted 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.”

For more information on the prevention of Hendra virus or biosecurity steps in an incident, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.

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