Hendra info night for horse owners

NSW Department of Primary Industries and Northern NSW Local Health District are holding an information night on Hendra virus at Mullumbimby tomorrow for local horse owners and interested members of the public.

The public meeting will be held at Mullumbimby Ex-Servicemen’s Club at 7pm and will be addressed by NSW DPI Regional Veterinary Officer Paul Freeman and North Coast Public Health Unit Assistant Director Greg Bell.

Mr Freeman will provide an update on the single-horse death near Mullumbimby last week and give advice on how horse owners can minimise the risk of their horse contracting the virus.

Mr Bell will outline the human health aspects of Hendra virus and discuss measures people can take to handle their horse safely. 

“We want to make sure local horse owners and the local community are kept informed about this Hendra outbreak and have the latest information on the virus,” Mr Freeman said.

“People who attend the information session will have the chance to ask questions and raise their concerns.”

Mr Freeman said comprehensive information was also available at www.agriculture.nsw.gov.au/info/hendra

“Local people without access to the internet can drop in to their local DPI office or Livestock Health and Pest Authority office where printed information is available,” he said.

“Anyone who has a concern about the health of their horse should contact their private veterinarian in the first instance.

“Private veterinarians work closely with vets from the Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) and many have already attended workshops about Hendra virus.”

Mr Freeman said Hendra virus can spread from flying foxes to horses and, rarely, from horses to people.

“The virus can cause a range of clinical signs in horses,” he said.

“Hendra should be considered in horses where there is acute onset of fever and rapid progression to death associated with either respiratory or nervous signs.”

More information on Hendra virus is available on website  www.agriculture.nsw.gov.au/info/hendra

For more information on the night contact NSW DPI at Wollongbar on 6626 1200.

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