Community wants hendra virus info

WITH two more horse deaths from hendra bringing the toll to three horses in two days, the community is calling for clearer information as to where these deaths were.

The two horses were in the South Ballina and Mullumbimby areas.

“I would like to remind all horse owners, no matter where their location in NSW, to take precautions to reduce the risk of their horses becoming infected with hendra virus,” Minister for Primary Industries and Small Business, Katrina Hodgkinson said yesterday in the wake of the news.

“Placing feed and water containers under cover, not placing feed and water under trees, especially trees with fruit.”

Katrina O'Leary doesn't live far from where the latest hendra outbreaks have occurred in South Ballina and she is worried.

“We have had a huge spike in hendra cases here on the Northern Rivers,” she said.

“The majority of my friends work in the equine industry and each day their lives are put at risk.”

Ms O'Leary and her family are polo players and also involved with the Northern Rivers Team Penners Association.

“We travel every weekend interstate to compete with our horses and we take every precaution to minimise the risk of (them) contracting hendra,” she said.

Ms O'Leary said it has now come to the stage where she won't let her five year-old-boy pat his pony without supervision.



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