Site Published:  16th April 2010
Last updated:   18th April 2010
Bookmark and Share
Page added:   18th April 2010
Page updated:   16th July 2011
 
 
Update - 30th June 2010
Update - 1st June 2010

Updates have been loaded on various pages, alarming information about Queensland Authorities mishandling of potential Hendra virus infections has been published on More Unreleased Information page.

 

$1.5 million to position Queensland as international leader in the fight against Hendra Virus
The Bligh Government will invest $1.5 million over 3 years in the 2010-11 State Budget for the establishment of a new Queensland Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (QCEID) to continue the fight against Hendra virus.

"The new $1.5 million in funding to establish QCEID will augment the government's existing investment of $1.5 million from Queensland Health and $1 million from Biosecurity Queensland, over the next three years to establish the Centre at the soon to be opened $100 million Health and Food Sciences Precinct at Coopers Plains," he said.   Read
more...
 
Update - 8th June 2010

Sick horse heartbreak, warning
Peter Caton | 22nd June 2010

A DISTRAUGHT Tweed woman wants to warn other horse owners of the heartbreak and frustration they face if their animals become sick during the current Hendra virus scare because of potential delays with blood tests.   Read more....
Update - 22nd June 2010

Threat to Coast racing in Hendra scare

Daniel Meers   |  June 19th, 2010

QUEENSLAND biosecurity officials have locked down an area near the Gold Coast Turf Club fearing a potential outbreak of the fatal Hendra virus which could cripple the multimillion-dollar industry.

Government officials have banned trainers indefinitely from walking their horses in the popular forest area near the racing precinct because of a fruit bat colony which could carry and pass on the illness through bodily fluids.   Read more.....

Bush barred amid Hendra virus fears

June 20th, 2010

Sky News... Click image to view video

 

View Larger Map

So we have a treed area in the middle of suburbia,
with flying foxes (known to carry and shed the deadly virus) settled in and the Government now restricting trainers from hand walking horses along the track.          

This not so contagious virus now considered too risky to walk horses under the bats?  The scientists don full PPE gear just to go into these colony locations to lay out sheets and collect urine samples....  Yet, we the public are told not to worry and enjoy having them in our backyard!
sample collecting 2
sample collecting 3
 

Lives still being put at risk

On Wednesday Jun 16, Caboonbah Stud believed their nightmare was over and decided to share their horror story on a number of forums to raise awareness.  The following was posted:

Have you got biosecurity gear in your horse first aid kit?
by caboonbahstud » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:35 pm
Well I have just had the worst 91 hours of my life, but thankfully ended on a good note tonight. One of my weanlings Banjo went down on saturday night and couldn't get up, was showing problems with neurological signs - wanted to eat and drink but couldn't, head shaking, muscle spasms with legs, low temperature, blood wouldn't clot. Vet was out from 7-30-11-30pm doing tests and trying to save him. He was dead by 5am Sunday morning.

Hendra virus was suspected and tests taken for it. Well extremely stressful time, I was away for the night working at an event for the weekend and had my mum here looking after the place and she helped the vet. She didn't have any protective gear on (previous to this I had never really thought about keeping any in the house). As Banjo had been nasal and stomach scoped she was then classed at high risk of being infected if he was tested positive. We been in quarantine since then but thankfully tonight I got the results back that it is negative!!!

But through this it has made me realise how important it is for everyone with horses to have some biosecurity protective gear in supply at their place. If your horse shows any unusual signs/illness, put on full protective gear before you go to help your horse. I wouldn't wish what I been through this week on anyone, better to take that bit extra precaution and be safe for no reason than not take it and then be at risk.
Banjo - died 13th June 2010

You can get it all from a Bunnings Warehouse -
Disposable overalls,
P2 masks
Full wrap goggles
Gloves
Hair cover
Garbage bags
Disinfectant

If your horse shows any unusual signs suit up first and then go out and look after it and call vet.

Hopefully through the loss of Banjo others might not have to go through same stress of possible human loss if all biosecurity measures taken first.

Caboonbah Stud - Breeding Clydesdale Cross & Gypsy Cross Pleasure & Performance Horses to suit all needs.

 

If that wasn't scary enough for them...

Hendra was suspected on Saturday night when Banjo was sick, only blood samples were taken.  Being a  long weekend, the samples did not go to the lab until Tuesday.  Late Wednesday this negative diagnosis was relayed to them over the phone, feeling relieved they proceeded the next day to move and bury Banjo (previously left in the yard where he had died as they were unable to get anyone to bury him).  Two days later on the 18th June they had another horse with a temperature, and received a copy of the pathology reports expecting to see confirmation of this 'negative' on Banjo.  To their horror, instead what they discovered is the usual disclaimers on the report "The PCR test for Hendra Virus is not NATA-accredited" and "failure to detect organism-specific nucleic acids does not exclude the presence of disease due to this agent".

So with a large number of bats visiting the property nightly, one dead and one dubious horse, people exposed to Banjo prior to his death and then after being told 'negative', I'm sure the bureaucrats are sleeping better than Katy and her family at present.  Thanks for contacting me Katy, keep in touch and let us know how this pans out...



Not Detected does NOT mean Negative!!

Another lady who wanted to share her horror story with other horse owners, Amanda Bell, in contrast to the previous story where the vet did try and save the horse, Amanda was left no option but to watch her sick horse get sicker whilst testing took 4 days.  This is not the first, nor will it be the last story like this that I have heard.  It is another example of how inadequate the testing facilities are for this deadly virus and the Government must give urgent funding and priority to developing a stall side test that has been talked about for a number of years.

Delays in getting testing is not only an animal welfare issue, more importantly it is putting lives at risk.  Whilst an owner may understand the seriousness of the situation and stay away from the animal, here in Queensland, Biosecurity Qld do not quarantine a property until a positive result is confirmed, this means anybody could enter the property or pat a sick horse over the fence. 

Lives still being put at risk

On Wednesday Jun 16, Caboonbah Stud believed their nightmare was over and decided to share their horror story on a number of forums to raise awareness.  The following was posted:

Have you got biosecurity gear in your horse first aid kit?
by caboonbahstud » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:35 pm
Well I have just had the worst 91 hours of my life, but thankfully ended on a good note tonight. One of my weanlings Banjo went down on saturday night and couldn't get up, was showing problems with neurological signs - wanted to eat and drink but couldn't, head shaking, muscle spasms with legs, low temperature, blood wouldn't clot. Vet was out from 7-30-11-30pm doing tests and trying to save him. He was dead by 5am Sunday morning.

Hendra virus was suspected and tests taken for it. Well extremely stressful time, I was away for the night working at an event for the weekend and had my mum here looking after the place and she helped the vet. She didn't have any protective gear on (previous to this I had never really thought about keeping any in the house). As Banjo had been nasal and stomach scoped she was then classed at high risk of being infected if he was tested positive. We been in quarantine since then but thankfully tonight I got the results back that it is negative!!!

But through this it has made me realise how important it is for everyone with horses to have some biosecurity protective gear in supply at their place. If your horse shows any unusual signs/illness, put on full protective gear before you go to help your horse. I wouldn't wish what I been through this week on anyone, better to take that bit extra precaution and be safe for no reason than not take it and then be at risk.
Update - 22nd June 2010
 

Hendra Virus workshop presented by Kate Purvis

Saturday 3 July  2 -6 pm
Currumbin District Horse Club, 
Cold Coast

“After my personal experience in 2008, I feel very strongly about educating horse
owners about Hendra Virus and how to manage the associated risks.”

For booking details:  Read
more...
 
You can read about Kate's experience on her website Click Here
Click here to go to May 2010 Updates
Click here to go to April 2010 Updates
Back to top
June 2010 News