Site Published:  16th April 2010
Last updated:   18th April 2010
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September 2011 - Flying Fox Forum
Page added:   18th April 2010
Updated:   4th November 2011
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The Queensland Government hosted an online Flying Fox Forum on Friday 23rd September.  This provided an opportunity for concerned people to send in questions relating to flying foxes and the Hendra virus.  Whilst the concept was a great idea and provided an opportunity for people across the country to participate, sadly there was a lot of spin in the responses.  As the forum ran for 90 minutes I have taken the opportunity to break it down into the various questions and also put some of my comments and links to further information to clarify some of what was and wasn't said. 
Read about the Forum held 23rd September 2011

The forum ran for 90 minutes, as some may experience problems streaming such a large file, or may only have an interest in one or two of the questions raised, I have split the video into segments relating to each question.  Questions below and the links to each video are in the sequence the questions were raised and answered in the forum.

To watch the video segment for each question click on the links below

Read my comments or links to further information to clarify some of the answers given in the forum
Introduction to the Flying Fox Forum Click Here  
Question from Carol at Hattonvale
Do flying foxes really spread the Hendra virus?  Or are any other animals involved?
Question from Neil at Ipswich
Are other species involved in the transmission, such as mosquitoes, ticks, possums?
Click Here I feel some of the answers were less than factual, see comments and links here
Question from Jude of Brisbane
Dogs.  What proof is there that dogs or humans or other animals cannot contract the virus directly from flying foxes?
Click Here See comments and links here
Question from QPHIA
(Queensland Performance Horse Industry Assn)

What similarities have been found between the various outbreak locations this year, husbandry, water supplies, pastures?
Click Here  
Question from Deborah in Cairns
Immune system - Are the bats really to blame or is it a problem in the equine immune system?  Is it the horse that's the problem, not so much the bat?
Click Here  
Question from many respondents
The question of culling the flying foxes to control Hendra virus infections?   Also questions about dispersing flying foxes?
Click Here  
Question from Wayne at University of Adelaide
What is thought to be the reason that Hendra virus has not been expressed in other locations, such as southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia?
Click Here My belief is it probably already has occurred elsewhere and not been detected.  For reasons outlined in  History of Hendra page on here.  Time will tell.
Question from Sandra
Can lights scare away flying foxes if you have them living next to you? 

Question from Sharon at Home Hill

Is there anything you can spray on trees to stop the bats roosting in them?

Also many questions received along the same line as:
If you can't get rid of the flying foxes what precautions do you have to take?
Click Here Palms being a food source for flying foxes has been known for a long time.  For a list of other known food sources see the Flying Fox page on here. 
Question from Greg - Tank water.  Could we be affected by the virus in our rain water tanks?

Question from Rebecca - Do you recommend large or small water troughs for horses?
Click Here See Comments
Question from Lisa of Rockhampton - Questions about the vaccine, when will it be available and will it be available to buy or will it only be available administered by a vet? Click Here  
Question about Human Test Results - The question was raised - why does it take so long to get the human test results? Click Here See Comments
Many Questions received about Dusty also Tracey of Burdekin raised - What about wild dogs and cats? Click Here See Dusty Page
Question from Helen of Byron Bay - How do you know if your horse is recovered from Hendra virus infection?

Question from Marie of the Gold Coast Qld - Raised the question of why there are no broad movement restrictions when Hendra is rampant?

Question from Belinda of Walloon - Protective suits and equipment for horse owners?  Where do you get them from?
Click Here

See Comments
Question from Danial of Rockhampton - Who is responsible for collecting injured or dead flying foxes in public places?  Can or should you handle them? Click Here  
Question from Zoe of Burrum Town - Is it safe to graze my horses where there is a flying fox nursery?

Question from Robin at Casino - With the weather now warming up, are pasture only fed horses in heavily treed environment more susceptible to the virus? 
Click Here Rick Symon's response leaves me wondering was the question misunderstood?
If this year has been exceptional what do you expect next year to be like, as far as Hendra outbreaks?

Also Question from Greg of Westlake - We are under the flight path of flying foxes and they regularly drop their excrement over our home and garden, what is the risks to my families health when cleaning up the mess?
Click Here  
Question from Elizabeth of Forestdale a Wildlife Carer
Said she has been handling and caring for sick and injured wildlife including flying foxes for many years without illness.  Is this years Hendra outbreaks just a big media beat up?

All four of the panel experts then gave their closing summation of take home messages from the forum
Click Here