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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Free Hendra virus information session

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Photo supplied by Zoeitis/ Health for horses.
Photo supplied by Zoeitis/ Health for horses.

There have been three cases of the Hendra virus in horses in the northern rivers this year. On rare occasions the virus can be passed from flying foxes to horses if the horses are not vaccinated and usually results in death. The disease can also be transmitted from horses to humans during close contact.

The Lismore Central Veterinary Hospital is holding a free public information night on the Hendra virus this Wednesday, October 18 at the Lismore city hall, starting at 6pm. They will be discussing all aspects of the Hendra virus and have three speakers to address the topic Dr Richard Le’Strange from Zoeitis, Dr Phil Kemsley from the local land services and horse owner Vanessa Cotterill.

To reduce the chance of contracting the Hendra virus horses should be kept away from flowering and fruiting trees that attract bats and water and food troughs should not be kept under tress and kept covered. Hendra virus can cause a range of symptoms in horses. Usually there is a sudden fever and either respiratory or neurological illness. If a horse is unwell other animals and people should be kept away and your vet called immediately. If your veterinarian is unavailable you can call a District Veterinarian with the Local Land Services or the Animal Biosecurity Emergency Hotline on 1800 675 888.

For more information contact the Lismore Central Veterinary Hospital on (02) 66 22 00 44 or email [email protected].

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  1. More horses have died in the last 3 years from vets not attending non vaccinated horses for colic and other illnesses and injuries than the combined number of horses that died of Hendra since the disease was discovered. There are many horses that had adverse reactions to the vaccine inc horses death and permanent disability. A lot of us who used to vaccintae no longer dare to do so because the reactions seem to worsen with each booster shot. I salute and I am very grateful to those vets who continue to treat horses no matter if they are vaccinated or not, PPE is adimittedly annoying but hey if someone does not want to stick to hygiene and personal protection practice they should not become a vet imo. Often owners decide not to vaccinate because their horses immunity is not good or the horse is old and fragile. Zoetis the manufacturer of the vaccine recommends to only vaccinate healthy horses with the Hendra vaccine. So I am all for education but to hold owners at ransome to vaccinate or potentially watch your horse die in agony of a treatable condition because they are not vaccinated is absolutely not ok.


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