Biosecurity Queensland has advised a positive Hendra virus case was diagnosed last Thursday in a paddock horse on Queensland’s Gold Coast hinterland, according to the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).
The case was diagnosed by a private veterinarian who is confirmed to have been wearing Personal Protective Equipment at the time, the AVA said.
The infected was detected in a paddock pony, which was not vaccinated against Hendra virus, has been euthanised and another unvaccinated horse on the property is currently being monitored.
Biosecurity Queensland is now managing the case and has quarantined the property.
AVA Spokesperson for the Doctor Ben Poole said it’s critical horses located in high risk Hendra areas are vaccinated against Hendra virus.
“It is even more important horses from these areas are vaccinated when they compete in events where there are horses and people coming together in large numbers,” Dr Poole said.
“It provides a horse health and welfare benefit and a public health benefit.”
This latest diagnosis, along with two recent incidents where a horse show at Brookfield was disrupted by a suspected Hendra case and another at Kilkivan where the owner of a sick horse falsified horse health declaration documentation, underscores the need for vaccinating horses against Hendra virus, Dr Poole said.
“Horse Health Declarations (HHD’s) cannot be relied upon to provide protection from this insidious disease,” he said.
“Equine vets work closely with horse owners and event organisers to help make Australian horses and horse sports as safe and successful as possible.
“It’s impossible for an owner of a sick horse or their veterinarian to determine by examining it whether it has contracted Hendra virus infection.”
Dr Poole said testing for the disease takes time and delays possible life saving therapies.