Lismore Horse confirmed with Hendra Virus

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Lismore Horse confirmed with Hendra Virus gallery1 Lismore Horse confirmed with Hendra Virus gallery1

A horse in the northern New South Wales city of Lismore was last night euthanised after contracting the deadly Hendra Virus.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has called for all horse owners to stay vigilant following the first confirmed Hendra case in NSW this year.

Dr Christine Middlemiss, NSW Chief Veterinary Officer says the Lismore property has been placed under movement restrictions by Local Land Services.

"The 11-year-old gelding was euthanised near Lismore last night by the Local Land Services district veterinarian," she says. "The horse was noticed to be lethargic on Thursday 6 July. On Friday 7 July the horse was not eating and was wobbly on its feet

 "Samples from the horse were sent by a private veterinarian for laboratory analysis at DPI’s Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI) and results from testing at EMAI confirmed the Hendra virus last night."

"There has been a case of Hendra virus in the area before," Middlemiss adds.

Hendra virus is spread though fruit bats and is lethal to both horse and human, with Middlemiss urging owners to vaccinate their horses against the virus.

"Vaccination remains the most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses, but good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures should always be practiced in conjunction with it," Middlemiss says.

"Horses should also be kept away from flowering and fruiting trees that are attractive to bats. Do not place feed and water under trees and cover feed and water containers with a shelter so they cannot be contaminated from above," she adds.

All Australian cases have occurred in either NSW and Queensland says Middlemiss.

"All known Hendra virus cases have occurred in Queensland or northern NSW, but cases could occur wherever there are flying foxes or in horses that had recent contact with flying foxes prior to movement."

The DPI says if your horse is unwell, keep people and other animals away from the horse and call your private veterinarian immediately.

If your vet is unavailable, call a District Veterinarian with the Local Land Services or the Animal Biosecurity Emergency Hotline on 1800 675 888.

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