Annette Goodchild is not continuing vaccinating her horses against Hendra because she is scared of the side effects.
Annette Goodchild is not continuing vaccinating her horses against Hendra because she is scared of the side effects. Katherine Morris

State government probes Hendra vaccine

THE Hendra vaccine has split the equine community down the middle, with those firmly for and those totally against its use.

The Queensland Government last week announced it would start a parliamentary inquiry into the Hendra virus vaccine.

Annette Goodchild from the Wondai Pony Club believes it should be the owner's choice to vaccinate.

Some of her horses are vaccinated and some are not.

Mrs Goodchild said she had many friends who competed with their horses at a top level, whose horses had adverse reactions to the vaccine.

She believed that, living in the South Burnett, her horses having an adverse reaction to the vaccine was more likely than them catching the Hendra virus.

"I'm hoping the parliamentary inquiry alleviates the fear of vets being persecuted for treating unvaccinated horses," she said.

"We are lucky in the South Burnett that the majority of vets still treat unvaccinated horses.

"But the fear is always that when I need a vet they won't come."

Mrs Goodchild said the vaccine had split the equine community as those for and against it.

"It's not about the money for me, I'm scared my horse is going to have a reaction," she said.

She said some competitions required all horses to be vaccinated.

Horse owner and organiser of South Burnett Horse Soccer Vicki Sullivan said she did not have her horses vaccinated.

"I just really don't think that at the moment that there has been enough research," she said.

Mrs Sullivan said she believed the vaccine was killing the horse industry.

Horses must be vaccinated against Hendra with booster every six months.

"The astronomical costs is making horses a rich person hobby," she said.

Vets can be prosecuted by Work Place Health and Safety for treating an unvaccinated horse.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinarian Medicine Authority has deemed the vaccination safe.

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