A confirmed case of Hendra virus was detected at Scone in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales on Wednesday.
In a statement released by Racing NSW’s Chief Veterinary Officer it was confirmed the 25-year-old mare who contracted the virus was humanely euthanised and at this stage the case appeared to be isolated.
“NSW Department of Primary Industries has provided Racing NSW with advice that an isolated but confirmed case of Hendra virus has been identified on a property near Scone, in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW,” read the statement.
“A 25-year-old unvaccinated mare has now been euthanised and those people exposed to the mare are having their welfare managed by NSW Health.
“At this time, advice is that there appears to have been no contact with thoroughbred populations.”
The statement went on to remind participants to be vigilant with regards to Hendra virus.
“There is a need for preventative measures, to minimise the risk of infection in horses, humans and companion animals.
“Hendra virus infection is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it has the potential to affect both horses and humans.”
Hendra virus made the headlines in 1994 when it tragically took the life of Queensland trainer Vic Rail.
Rail, who trained champion galloper Vo Rogue, was the first confirmed human death from the virus.
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) also released a statement in response to the confirmed case at Scone.
“The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Director of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services Dr Martin Lenz reminds all racehorse participants to follow good biosecurity practices and for trainers and owners to speak to their vet about vaccinating the horses in their care against Hendra virus to protect their horses and staff from this deadly disease."
“Vaccination remains the single-most effective prevention method,” Dr Lenz said.
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