Menu
News

Vet fears Hendra vaccination too expensive

Biosecurity officers at a Nerimbera property after an outbreak of Hendra virus was detected last year. Authorities appear to be establishing the quarantine zone on the affected property.
Biosecurity officers at a Nerimbera property after an outbreak of Hendra virus was detected last year. Authorities appear to be establishing the quarantine zone on the affected property. Chris Ison Rokchendra

SUPPORT is growing in the horse industry for the Hendra vaccine to become mandatory.

But a Central Queensland veterinarian with experience treating the Hendra virus in CQ is cautioning that it may be too expensive for owners.

Jim Kerr from Pastoral and Veterinary Service has his nine horses vaccinated, but said he knew people with up to 100 horses who would be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the vaccine.

"You can't make it mandatory for all horses …it's unrealistic, it's not going to happen," he said.

"My personal opinion is that anything horse related will just become that more exclusive.

"You'd have to be very careful, people may be excluded and isolated because of money."

Jim hopes the industry will develop a test for vets to use so they can instantly tell if a sick horse has Hendra, rather than waiting for results from Biosecurity Queensland.

It has been a year since Equivac HeV was launched, and there is still a push to invest in further research.

Chairman of Equestrian Australia, Dr Warwick Vale, said he supports mandatory vaccinations at high risk events.

"I think that the events community will come to realise that the single best tool for risk mitigation of this disease is vaccination," he said.

A Safer Tomorrow: Our Stand Against Hendra is a new documentary released to mark the first anniversary of the vaccine's release, and to celebrate those behind its development and manufacture.

The documentary can be viewed at www.health4horses. com.au.

Topics:  animal welfare hendra hendra vaccination