Hendra virus vaccination mandatory for Ekka Show horses

A recently adopted biosecurity measure by the RNA will make the Hendra virus vaccination a mandatory requirement for all horses attending or competing at the 2013 Royal Queensland Show.

RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou said the association worked closely with Biosecurity Queensland and experienced biosecurity veterinarians to review and update the RNA's Biosecurity Plan.

"The RNA's primary consideration is the health and safety of all people and animals at the event. While the risk of contracting Hendra virus is extremely low we believe the introduction of mandatory Hendra virus vaccinations for all horses visiting the showgrounds, including horse competitors, is the best available preventative measure and will ensure we further mitigate the potential risks of this deadly virus," said Mr Christou.

Australian Veterinary Association President Dr Ben Gardiner said the AVA supports the RNA's decision to make vaccinations mandatory with the aim of protecting horses and humans. 

"Research has demonstrated the vaccine is highly effective in preventing disease in horses and stopping the transmission of the Hendra virus," he said.

Mr Christou said the RNA is looking forward to a great 2013 Ekka and a successful Horse Competition.

"Mandatory vaccinations for Hendra virus and several other biosecurity measures will ensure the highest standard of protection for the show's horse competitors and exhibitors," he said.

The RNA's additional biosecurity measures to mitigate risks of Hendra virus include:

  • comprehensive stable cleaning and disinfecting measures
  • plywood and plastic barriers between stables
  • restricting public access to horses
  • ensuring the areas under fig trees are thoroughly cleaned early each morning
  • limiting the feeding and watering of horses to their stables.

Exhibitors interested in entering the Royal Queensland Show's 2013 Horse Competition are encouraged to talk with their veterinarian about the vaccination process to ensure that they are fully informed, and visit www.royalqueenslandshow.com.au for more information on the entry requirements.

For more on this issue check out next Wednesday's edition of the Gatton, Lockyer and Brisbane Valley Star.

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