BIOSECURITY Queensland has defended its handling of quarantine controls and animal testing after being criticised by a Fraser Coast farmer who claimed the department exposed his family to danger and failed his animals.
Shane Doyle, of Nikenbah, had his property locked down after the hendra virus caused the death of one of his horses.
During the quarantine period, now lifted, a dog and a horse were tested at least twice for hendra.
“Activities on a property under quarantine for hendra virus infection are based on a risk management/risk minimisation approach,” a Biosecurity Queensland spokesperson said.
“Biosecurity Queensland and Queensland Health work closely with property and horse owners in these circumstances to manage the situation, including advice on how to minimise any interaction with horses under quarantine.
“Horses are kept on the property to avoid any further spread. This means no horses can come onto or leave the site.”
The spokesperson said while a property is under quarantine, it is effectively under the management of Biosecurity Queensland.
Horses are isolated in a secure area and monitored daily with minimal involvement of people on the property.
“In most circumstances, there is no need for anyone residing on the site to have any contact with their horses during the quarantine,” the spokesperson said.
Mr Doyle criticised Biosecurity on the grounds that he believed he had been misled by veterinary staff acting with the authority of the organisation.
He said he had requested that the sick animal be tested for ailments other than hendra as he could not get a private vet to attend his property while under quarantine.
“With regard to the request from the property owner to have a dog tested for other diseases, Biosecurity Queensland understands the dog in question was already under care by a private veterinarian and had been given appropriate treatment,” the Biosecurity spokesperson said.
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