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Horse Health | Call For Horse Health Passports To Prevent Spread Of Hendra

Posted By: JR

Thursday, 14/07/2011

A North Queensland vet at the centre of a 2009 outbreak of hendra virus wants health passports issued for horses.

Tim Annand, from Bowen, says he’s been called out to more suspected, but negative, cases of hendra this year than in any other year.

The fatal illness is transferred from bats to horses, and humans can then catch the virus from the horses.

Dr Tim Annand says better bat tracking systems are needed.

“Be vigilant, if you can, I don’t think it hurts to check trees at night to see if there are lots of bats in them, make sure those horses aren’t under the trees,” he said.

“Not feeding the horses under the trees obviously helps, but I think even removing the horses is a sight better.”

Meanwhile, Biosecurity Queensland is yet to confirm whether a horse reported to have died from a stress-related illness at Mareeba in the far north has been tested for hendra virus.

The horse had been brought to Mareeba from Melbourne for this weekend’s rodeo and died on Tuesday.

Biosecurity officers are still assessing horses at a Kuranda property, after a mare died from hendra virus on Monday.

Biosecurity Queensland and Queensland Health have set up a mobile office on the Kennedy Highway between Kuranda and Mareeba to provide information on the virus.

Nine Queensland properties are under quarantine and six horses have died from hendra virus across the state in the past month.


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