Hendra can lie in wait in fresh horse manure


NEXT TIME you consider picking up a bag of fresh horse manure to fertilise your vegetable garden, think again.

Do you know if the manure you're collecting is from a healthy horse?

Do you know if the horse has been vaccinated against the hendra virus?

Humans can contract the virus through contact with infected horses' bodily secretions.

The hendra virus can live in horse manure for up to four days.

Veterinarian Dr Chris Reardon said he encourages people to continue to have good hygiene around horses.

"If you're working with horses or near their manure you need to ensure hygiene practices are followed," he said.

Many issues like this were raised at the hendra information night at the Warwick Turf Club on Wednesday night.

"We had a great turn up," Dr Reardon said.

"I think the information night made people more comfortable in what we are dealing with.

"Their questions were answered and they were told the facts about hendra and the vaccine."

Julie Pocock who is an equine specialist representative from Zoetis, an animal health company, presented the night.

With thousands of flying foxes nesting just a couple hundred metres down the river from his property, Len Bryant was one of many locals who attended the information night.

"Last night's meeting was very informative," Mr Bryant said. "I've been very concerned about my horses."

A spokeswoman for Zoetis said horse owners should contact their veterinarian if they are concerned about the virus.

"If you think your horse may be infected make sure you take the correct measures from preventing it from spreading," she said.

To prevent the spread of the virus make sure you isolate sick horses from other horses, animals and people, ensure strict hygiene and cleaning practices are used on your property and use personal protective equipment such as gloves, overalls, boot covers, facial shields, safety eyewear and respiratory protective devices when hendra virus is a potential diagnosis.

Topics:  hendra horses

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