THE NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) confirmed Hendra virus as the cause of death of one horse on a second Macksville property over the weekend.
NSW chief veterinary officer Ian Roth said the property has been quarantined and the DPI, Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) and NSW Health are working closely with the property owners.
“Samples from the six-year-old gelding were sent to DPI’s Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute and results confirmed (on Friday),” Mr Roth said.
“Two other horses from the property, three dogs and two cats will be closely monitored by NSW biosecurity experts.
“An LHPA veterinarian is taking samples of the remaining horses and the companion animals. The remaining horses will be vaccinated against Hendra.
“This case is not connected to the previous Hendra case in Macksville last month.”
Mr Roth said this is the second Hendra case this year and is a timely reminder that horse owners should speak with their private veterinarian about vaccinating their horse against the Hendra virus.
“Hendra virus can spread from flying foxes to horses and, rarely, from horses to people,” Mr Roth said.
“Hendra virus can cause a range of clinical signs in horses. Some of the more common symptoms that are seen are an acute onset of fever and rapid progression to death associated with either respiratory or neurological signs.
“Vaccination is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses.”
DPI advises horse owners to take precautions in areas with flying foxes to reduce the risk of their horses becoming infected, such as covering feed and water containers.
Hendra virus is a notifiable disease - if you suspect the presence of this disease in horses, you must report it. Call Emergency Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.