25 July 2011

Vet warns "time is running out" to nail Qld Hendra horse deaths

Qld Vet Calls For “Urgent Action” On Hendra: The latest Hendra virus outbreak at Chinchilla “has placed added pressure on the resources of Queensland Health and Biosecurity Queensland” reported abc.net.au. In addition to 10 horse deaths in 8 locatons across the state, “87 horses are being monitored and up to 60 people have been tested since the 1st outbreak last month”. Veterinarian Dr David Lovell, from Redland Bay east of Brisbane, warned “time is running out to determine the cause of so many Hendra virus outbreaks across Queensland”. Lovell said the State Government “needs to allocate more resources to studying the reasons behind the spike in outbreaks” and declared: “Something's different, something has changed. My belief probably is that it is all in the month of July - I think that in a very, very short period of time we have had all these different outbreaks. Why is that suddenly happening? It has never ever been like that before and it's just essential that we know.” Lovell emphasised Biosecurity Queensland “needs all the help it can get to figure it out. They are probably stretched to their limits a little bit now - I would like to see it outsourced. AusVet - their speciality is epidemiology - that is what they do and they have done some brilliant work over the years. I am sure at the CSIRO there are lots and lots of people that aren't directly on the Government payroll at the moment, that I think could be given this as an urgent, immediate project to get out there and find out.” Qld Mayor Also Calls For Hendra Action: Following the Hendra death at Chinchilla, Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown told abc.net.au “work must continue to stop the spread of Hendra virus from bats to horses”. Brown said flying fox colonies “are widespread on the Western Downs” and noted: “Personally I know myself - where I live at Moonie, I have pecan nut trees that they love to attack. It's just part of nature in Queensland - how we deal with it is certainly an issue that's got to be addressed. We don't want more frequencies of this type of event.” Source: breedingracing.com.

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