Hendra virus vaccine won't be mandatory in Queensland


Hendra virus vaccine won't be mandatory in Queensland
  1. Hendra virus vaccine won't be mandatory in Queensland
    theage.com.au
    Hendra virus vaccinations won't be mandatory in Queensland but equestrian event organisers can ban unvaccinated horses, which vets can refuse to treat, under new state government recommendations designed to save…
    Football

Hendra virus vaccinations won't be mandatory in Queensland but equestrian event organisers can ban unvaccinated horses, which vets can refuse to treat, under new state government recommendations designed to save lives.

The virus has killed 77 horses and four people since it made headlines in 1994 when Vic Rail, the trainer of champion galloper Vo Rogue, died of a heart attack a week after being admitted to hospital with symptoms of Hendra.

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Vet Derek Major administers a Hendra virus vaccine to his horse Summit, with the aid of his veterinary assistant (file ... Vet Derek Major administers a Hendra virus vaccine to his horse Summit, with the aid of his veterinary assistant (file picture). Photo: Geoff Jones

The virus struck with flu-like symptoms similar to equine influenza in Rail's Hendra stables, killing 14 horses and shutting down racing in Brisbane for three weeks.

The virus remains a risk and will likely kill infected humans and horses but laws should not be created to make the vaccine Equivac compulsory, an eight-month-long Queensland Parliament inquiry has found.

"Vaccinating against the Hendra virus remains the most effective option for preventing horse and human deaths from the virus, according to biosecurity, workplace safety and health experts," Agriculture and Environment Committee chairman Glenn Butcher said.

"If people stop vaccinating their horses, we will see deaths from Hendra virus in Queensland again."

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The Australian Veterinary Association has supported the committee's recommendations, most of which are backed…

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