Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh today welcomed the release of a Hendra virus vaccine by commercial vaccine manufacturer Pfizer Animal Health.
Minister McVeigh said the Queensland Government had committed $300,000 to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory to support the development of the horse vaccine.
“The vaccine has been developed through collaboration between Pfizer Animal Health, CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences and the Henry M Jackson Foundation,” said Mr McVeigh.
“The release of the vaccine offers real hope for the horse industry in the fight against Hendra.
“It is important to stress however, that this vaccine has been released under special conditions which must be followed. Only veterinarians who have completed an online training module managed by Pfizer Animal Health will be accredited to administer the vaccine.
“Queensland horse owners should discuss with their veterinarian whether vaccinating their horses is appropriate. The Government has not made the Hendra virus vaccine compulsory for horses in Queensland.
“People in contact with horses also need to continue to practice good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures even if their horses are vaccinated.”
Mr McVeigh said the Newman Government was providing a personal protective equipment (PPE) rebate program earlier this year, to support vets when dealing with suspected Hendra virus cases.
“The program allows Queensland vets to apply for a rebate on eligible PPE used in taking samples in the investigation of horses suspected of being infected with Hendra virus,” said Mr McVeigh.
“The Government has committed to providing $1 million over four years to the PPE program.”
Mr McVeigh said there had been seven Hendra virus incidents in Queensland so far this year and an unprecedented 10 incidents in 2011.
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[ENDS] 1 November 2012
Media contact: Louise Gillis – 0408 709 160