Site Published:  16th April 2010
Last updated:   18th April 2010
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Comments and Feedback
If you would like to submit comments or feedback about this site, please use the form on the Contact Us page.

If you have not already, please sign the online petition for funding into all aspects of this deadly virus.  We do not accept the contempt the Government has for this virus.






Thank you to everyone that has signed the petition and helped spread the word about this website and the petition.  Please continue to spread the word, education in protecting yourselves is currently the only defense against this deadly virus.  Comments and feedback for the support of both this site and the petition have been humbling, in a relatively short period of time and limited publicity.  Here’s what people are saying…

Thanks for visiting, please help pass the word around!  If there is anything you would like to see added to this site that could in anyway help educate more people, please feel free to contact us.


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I was always more concerned about this virus to the wider community and feel it needs more of mine, yours and the governments attention than the EI virus. Without a doubt this has wider consequences than EI to everyone. Not just the equine industry. EI was just a monetary decision by those wanting to dodge the quarantine system for financial gain. Unfortunately we can not dispose of the cause. Wouldn't it make more sense to put time and money into a vital vaccine....
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There have been human deaths from this virus and research is vitally needed.
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The horse industry is huge in Australia and horses are an important part of many Australians lives. I also understand Flying foxes are a native Australian animal that should be protected, so lets find some way that we can protect our native species and our much loved horses and the people who own them and work with them. Stop the tragic events of the past relating to Hendra from occuring again.
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Hendra virus is a very serious threat to both horses and people across the whole of Australia, and further research into the disease must be funded by the government. Speaking as someone who lives a only a short distance from the Cawarral outbreak, I saw first hand the tragic impacts that this disease brings. We need a vaccine for Hendra ASAP, before more horses and people die from this insidious virus.
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Considering the deadly outcome that we have allready seen in QLD , I think it is very inportant to find out far more about this.
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Due to the complex and differing symptoms that present when horses & humans contract Hendra and the very high mortality rate of both, especially infected humans, this issue needs urgent funding for adequate research into all areas of the disease including, transmission, protection strategies, vaccinations etc.
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The Queensland DPI handling of this deadly virus has been extremely contemptible and misleading to the public. There has been multiple occasions where high ranking officials have made statements that, at best, have been to divert scrutiny and attention from the systemic apathetic response to this virus, and at worst deliberate lies.
If this virus was affecting the families of those responsible for mobilising some sustainable, significant government response things would be very different

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I've heard so much about this virus. I can't believe that the government have already done more about it
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This has to be stopped in its tracks...It is our lively hood & health at steak...
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The severity of this virus, and its ability to be transmitted to humans absolutely requires that it be researched, that quick testing be available, and vaccines and or treatments be made available wherever possible.
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Please fund more research for this terrible disease!
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The way the government is attempting to ignore this threat to the public is disgraceful. Unfortunately, it seems only a mounting count of deaths will force them to act. RIP the next one to die!
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The increasing number of outbreaks is alarming. Whilst any death is regrettable, it is clear that when situations get out of control, the cost to deal with the problem is on going and astronomical. Now is the time sort this out, not wait till it is "statistically significant"
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The government is going to have to take this risk to public safety seriously at some point.

If this disease mutates it is going to create a National crisis.

I demand that the Govt act immediately to ensure the future safety of both the horse industry, and the people connected with it.
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Hendra's kill ratio of people infected is too high, and the DPI's don't know what to do or how to contain it when it occurs. Simply not good enough. It doesn't occur overseas so we can't rely on other countries to figure it out, we don't have a choice but to investigate thoroughly and create a vaccine.
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If we don't get this sorted we will run out of vets who will even look at horses.
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This research is so very necessary, please do the right thing!
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To the DPI - WAKE UP TO YOURSELVES!!!!!!!
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I am concerned because Bendigo now has a large colony of Fruit Bats form Qld, I am a Horse Breeder. I am concerned for my horses but also Bendigo as Bendigo has a huge equine population. I am concerned that nothing seems to be getting done to either move them on or to protect the equine population
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This Virus has now affected a mother and child as well as a pony. Please help with financial backing to eradicate this disease.
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Please find the funds to advance the vaccine for Hendra Virus to clinical trials asap before a child dies.
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Spend less tax money on illegal immigrants and more on AUSTRALIA's own Health
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Knowing 3 people directly affected by Hendra and being in the horse industry this is serious and needs our total attention
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Please, Please, Please ensure funding is allocated immediately for research into the Hendra Virus.
Though the death toll is currently small it will only increase and it's unknown at what rate and to what extent it will continue so action is required NOW!!

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Got to get on top of this problem Quickly! Is the lives of humans less valued than those of vermin?
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The Australian "horse" industry is one of our biggest employers, so addressing this issue is of paramount importance
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A Serious disease that needs vital funding. Why are the government hesitant on spending money on this situation?
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Knowing Australia's obscene obession with nothing more important than the "Footy" Codes; until some famous sports star or the like falls prey to this disease, I feel that no importance will be placed on any real research and treatment development. I sign this petition in the hope that despite this, a scientist somewhere out there possesses a more balanced view of public safety for all, and endeavours to protect us all. Please?
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This is not a time for apathy...
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We are a small thoroughbred stud and were unfortunate enough to have a horse at the Redlands Veterinary clinic when the Hendra Virus outbreak occurred.It was a very sad time for all concerned and everyone associated with the clinic obviously has a story to tell
Unfortunately our horse was due for release on the day Hendra was announced and the clinic placed in quarantine.

The horse was very well cared for as far as feeding and attention to any treatment necessary was concerned. What was most disturbing was the lack of exercise given to horses that were not affected by the virus or anywhere near the affected horse.

We were not allowed on the premises and believe the horse may have been given some exercise but nothing near what a horse that was used as an endurance horses needed. When the horse was released and returned home he was near impossible to ride and to this day he still hasn't been ridden.

The treatment by some government departments and the lack of compensation available to people effected by quarantine needs reviewing.
At first we were just told the clinic had a problem. When we pursued it further we were advised there was a herpes outbreak and that the clinic was going to be placed in quarantine. The next contact was confirmation of Hendra and that our horse may have to be put down.

We welcome any information or research on this dreadful virus and urge everyone to back any research on the disease.

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To the Parliamentarians, how would you like it if this virus affected your family, friends, colleagues with no fault of their own. The effects are not just felt at the time of the outbreak but have long term ramifications. Lives are being lost and valuable animals and businesses destroyed. You'll increase our taxes BUT putting money into vaccinations to stop the spread of this virus seems too bloody hard.
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May I ask why the victims are responsible for funding this vaccine. It was not a choice of members of my family to say their farewells to us as they go to hospital in the thought they may never see us again. Mr Government man, what did you feel? Obviously nothing because you still choose to put it behind you. I wish it was that easy. Mr Government man, when its your child, wife, husband, will you then come up with he money.
SHAME ON YOU. vaccinate a horse, and save a  family.  Get a heart!
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I work in the veterinary industry in Cairns - and have direct knowledge of 2 confirmed cases of Hendra in Far North Qld.

The links provided are a valuable resource provided by intelligent people and should be taken as such. However they are not the sole source of information on the issue - nor do they claim to be.

Direct comparisons with EI are unproductive, in that they distract from the real issue.

Hendra symptoms are unique -they are ever-so-slightly different in each case -and can turn deadly at a moments notice - (NB!) the last case did not have obvious respiratory symptoms (unlike first two) and no nasal discharge until critical stage.  Therein lies the issue.

Each case has enabled the gathering of more vital information, and therefore workable precautionary strategies for those directly in the firing line - until the next case virtually discounts one symptom and highlights another.

Look beyond Local, State, and Federal governments to "protect" you and your horses, read up on the precautions, and be aware that it can happen to you. Above all - do not assume that nasal discharge and a temperature spike are a major component of the primary symptoms in this very nasty virus.

Until we get more cases - and more knowledge - we can only guess as to where this will lead. And we all know what this means.

I'm sorry I can not be more specific at this time, however by virtue of my work I have a higher chance of being exposed to the virus, and I am just as worried about my personal safety as the next person.

Keep reading all available reliable data - and stay vigilant, as I am.
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This not only relates to horse health - it also relates to human health. Please get your heads out of the sand and put funding towards vital research.
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Why don't they match us dollar for dollar at least.
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How come we can hand out money to boat people who shouldn't be allowed here, but cannot fund vital research to protect a huge industry in Australia?
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Do you know someone that faced the emotional- financial devastation that Hendra can cause? The death of exceptional people and valuable horses shadow the emotional conflict you endure when faced with the prospect of never seeing loved ones again, and knowing that the reaper missed you, literally by a breath. It is criminal, that once again we have to have a cake stall to fund what the government can fund with a swipe of a pen. You should hang your heads in shame.
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Stop Hendra Virus now,if it affected dogs and cats there would be something done quick smart
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This is a killing machine. A time bomb that is not selective. SHAME on the government that we have to find our own funding.
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The development of this vaccine will save lives of humans, horses and flying foxes.
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As an equine vet I do fear finding a case of Hendra, or indeed a case of Hendra finding me.
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This condition has the potential to be very serious as it is deadly and obviously the number of reported cases is increasing.  This problem therefore needs some immediate action.
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This is vital we find a cure, its no just killing horses but humans too. Come on this must be of great importance.
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How many more deaths must there be before action is taken?
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I fully support this plea to fund CSIRO research into ways of combating the Hendra Virus Australia-wide.
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please act this is a real stress for our horses and us as horse owners and handlers. We don't want to die if there is a solution. This is like Russian roulette.
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An Australia wide approach is vital.
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This is important. People need to know it is out there
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The Australian government needs to control this before someone else loses their life. RIP Ben.
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Its time to get on top of these diseases, before they totally get out of hand, and some creep, does start making a serum to kill ppl..Dee
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This is a serious disease with serious consequences and more needs to be done to rid our industry of it.
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HeV struck here in cq in august 09, we are still reeling after the loss of a great vet.
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We send so much of tax payers money overseas when disaster strike, so how about spending some (a lot) on the research needed to treat the Hendra virus effectively. Just because you are a member of Parliament, doesn't mean you have immunity from this virus, so do something NOW before it's too late.
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Equestrian pursuits of all kinds are an ever growing recreation in Australia the growing health risks attached to them ie: Hendra Virus is even more menacing. We need to act know not when the problem has grown out of proportion.
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How about we research something that does actually affect all right now, instead of worrying about a virus that isn't here.
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This is of vital concern due to deaths in humans and equines
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I am deeply concerned that this virus will spread in the warmer months, and that thousands of animals and people's lives are at risk.
Is the death of many animals and a number of humans not enough to put money into this research? I know that a lot of horse owners would be devastated if a major outbreak were to occur.
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Raise awareness of Hendra and stop it form happening again
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Is it not enough that pleasure horse owners are being subjected to forced vaccination for EI , which ,at present ,is not, nor will be a problem ,unless the virus is let loose here.  We now have to worry about the Hendra Virus, for which there is no cure and the Govt; don't seem to care. We are a large body of people who all vote and can influence others also. Wake up!
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We live next to 30,000 acres of state forest about 60km N.W. of Melbourne. Last night I was astounded, and very concerned, to watch 1,000+ fruit bats flying from the west directly over our property! They were heading in a North Easterly direction.
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I am very concerned that there is not enough research into and publicity about the Hendra virus particularly as more and more bats are migrating to Victoria and given the fatalities in Queensland.
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I can't believe Govt is happy to save the bats which can cripple the horse industry.
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Bendigo has been invaded by grey-headed fruit bats. The spread of the hendra virus is of great concern to me, as I work only a city block from Rosalind Park, where there are currently thousands of bats residing.
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It is about time the Govt spent some of the tax dollars received from the racing industry to fund research into the Hendra Virus - how many more horses (animals) and people need to die before the Govt will act? This Govt just doesn't get it - instead of supping on a bottle of Grange maybe they should be spending the tax payer dollars on life saving research.
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This research is vitally important. It could cause the deaths of people and horses on mass.
Please act now before it is too late.
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Please we need finding desperately
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Its vitaly important to get a vaccination to prevent hendra virus in horses
1. it effectes the racing industry
2. jobs are lost
3. the horses are suffering
4. people are dying from this disease
I CANT UNDERSTAND WHY THE GOVERNMENT WONT HELP. They have no problems suporting sports! how about trying to save some lives
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Increasing numbers of bat populations in Victoria are a concern, as all bat populations can carry Hendra. There are time bombs waiting to go off wherever bats and horses co exist.
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Would someone in Government please wake up! This virus is DEADLY.
Do something about it before it is too late.
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Horse lover or not, this disease is lethal to humans! Research and development is desperately needed to prevent spread.
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All horse owners Australia wide should be made aware of the implications of this deadly disease and the Govt should be providing funding to research and educate horse owners regarding this disease, it kills not just our beloved horses, but, potentially our families too. Govt must act now and not hide the real facts!
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I would like to see the health dept following up with testing on all suspected cases of Hendra Virus.
Some provision should be available for people to discourage flying foxes away from their property. Especially if they have horses on the property.
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If ever there was a deserved investment into a virus trial then this is it.
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I was brought up on a farm in the Hunter Valley NSW and now live in Sydney but had noticed a HUGH increase in the BAT population. It's only a matter of time till this situation turns ugly unless we find a solution with so many bats pooping in horse yards/areas in this country we need to help fund a solution and FAST.
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I am so sick of people/animals dying of Hendra. The gov't is in denial mode; this is the next real biological threat...and deadly. Get Real!
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Come on Mr Rudd, something seriously needs to be done about this. It doesnt just effect the horse industry..but human lives as well. Put your priorities int he right place for once.!!!!
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If the government invested more time and effort into funding this then there would be less chance of mortality for horses and humans. Cull a few bats if you have to, they are pests anyway.
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I worked during one of the out breaks and dont think anyone's family and friends should be put though the pain and suffering of losing Family, pets, friends, work colleges,vets anything all because of useless animals! So what if they help spread seeds!birds, bees,bugs ect do that to with out destroy crops, peoples lives, other animals, car paint ect!
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This vaccine is almost ready, we need to get it tested on horses and out there available to all horse owners. HUMAN lives are at risk not just our Equine family.
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I feel that human life is more important that preserving the 'large number' of bats in society.
Please keep natures balance and protect our beautiful horses from becoming sick.
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If the departments aren't going to cull FF numbers or relocate colonies to areas where they pose no threat to horses or humans, then they must spend government dollars on research to develop a vaccine. To do any less is a moral cop out and carries a huge horse welfare concern.
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Hendra is a deadly virus and i am appalled that the government isnt doing anything to prevent it, even though it is killing both humans and horses.
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Any zoonotic disease like Hendra poses a clear and present danger to Australian people - a simple reshuffling of proteins and the virus will be able to transmit more easily from bats to humans (and other animals) and spread within the human population. We need large scale funding and immediate action to find, test and produce a vaccine to protect our animals and ourselves... one simple mutation and we have a virus that will make Bird Flu look like a passing sniffle.
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I care for other peoples horses & want this deadly virus to be given top priority in research & vaccination.
It's killing experts in the field with a growing number of Vet's infected .... will they be forced to say 'no' to attending a possibly infected animal.
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Just pathetic that the Australian Government can't spend the $600'000 needed to test a potential vaccine. 4 People dead already and now one of my family members has been exposed just doing his job. Well jone Bligh and Rudd!!!!!!!!
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Hendra virus had cost human lives with no cure. We need something now to prevent further human loss.
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Absolutely a requirement for people and horse safety.
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Trials must be commenced immediately so that all horses can be vaccinated against this deadly virus post haste
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The powers that be are clearing all the flying foxes from the Sydney Botanic Gardens. Where are they meant to go?? Presumably to other parks and open areas close to Sydney. We cannot sit idly by and presume it's not going to happen to us. Hendra Virus is deadly and a vaccine is needed urgently.
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The govt sends billions overseas it MUST support this vital project in Australia, it is years late in being started, get off your hands and give funds NOW
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a vaccine for horses to be out in the field is of the utmost importance
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Given the amount of people who own horses in this country & the ease with which this virus can be contracted by humans, I think it would be wise to do some serious research into this disease. It is a serious killer - not just of animals. It would be preferable for the government to NOT let it get out of hand.
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As an aspiring equine veterinarian in her third year at Sydney University, I am extremely passionate about this cause. Not only for the welfare of horses, but for the safety of all those who work with horses, especially the vets. Lets just hope this petition is successful!!
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This is deadly and therefore serious.Please tell me we live in an educated country!
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Something has to be done and soon. It is very scary that you have colonies of bats flying over home and you hold your breath that nothing will go wrong. How many lives have to be lost before something will be done to prevent this disease
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HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL DIE BEFORE THEY CONSIDER IT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO GIVE FUNDING?
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Just thought I would let you know that there is a colony of Qld Fruit bats currently inhabiting Rosiland Park in Bendigo, they have been here for some time and little seems to be being done to move them on, they are making an absolute mess of the Park, my concern is that I am a Miniature Horse Breeder and the effect these bats may have on my equines.
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Im absolutely disgusted that the Government wont do anything to fund research into vaccines etc.

Perhaps if a bat colony was to attach itself to Parliament House we may see them sit up a listen!

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Peoples lives are on the line here!!!! My question to the government is why has there not been funding for this???? the amount of money the govt spent on Swine Flu Prevention and yet the swine flu does not kill the general population....it doesn't matter how healthy or fit you are Hendra will highly likely kill you!!! Why then no funding???
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Something needs to be done and done quickly. We do not want to hear of deaths in Victoria or any other State caused by the flying foxes. Too many have died as a result of the Hendra Virus already when they shouldn't have, what will it take another death before something is done?
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This is too dangerous a disease to both human and animal to be ignored by Government.
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After the death of Alister Rodgers (QLD vet) due to contracting Hendra Virus himself, I would have thought that the Federal Government would have been more concerned about finding a vaccine for this extremely lethal disease.
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HELP NEEDED TO CONTROL THIS HORROR
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After personally witnessing the huge number of Fruit bats infesting suburban Melbourne (Carnegie) on the weekend, and discovering that no-one in the area knows anything about the possibility that they may be carrying HENDRA, there definitely needs to be not only more research, but more education and publicity about the disease.
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Hendra is a serious threat not only to horses but to humans! Even if the government does not care for the lives of the horses, care for those who are dying from the virus leaving loved ones behind frustrated and confused. Carrier flying foxes and bats are moving further south bringing more people into danger, something needs to be done!
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Agree government must act immediately on this problem.
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We need to do work on the Hendra Virus and the migration pattern of bats
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Congratulations on the amount of effort you have put into this issue to ensure the public is made aware of the risks of Hendra.
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This is vital work - more important than voluntary EI vaccinations - people ( & horses) DIE - no if's, no buts. $1 million over 2 years for trialing this vaccine is nothing to any self respecting govt.
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Once again the Government is letting us down.
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We need to put money into the hendra research we have lost enough vets and people plus horses
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As an equine veterinarian in south east Queensland hendra is constantly on my mind. Everyday I am potentially exposed to this deadly virus. Anything that could help keep myself and my peers a bit safer would be a god send.
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I would ask anyone who reads this to consider how it would be living a game of Russian Roulette, to know that every time you touched your much loved animal you ran the risk of dying a truly horrible death. Consider how you would feel lying in bed at night listening to bats feeding outside your bedroom and in your paddocks and being powerless to remove the threat, wondering if you will be next.  Consider how safe you would feel if this was a canine disease instead of equine.
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since hendra carrying bats migrate all down the australian coast line this danger is not restricted to one state alone. like heartworm infections it is going to spead
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On behalf of Pony Club Horses and children need to be protected before it becomes worse.
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Hendra Virus does not discriminate between people and horses it infects. We are ALL at risk, and provision of a vaccine should be high priority. There are no second chances with Hendra virus. Fund the vaccine research and trials NOW!!
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Great site. Not just idle claims but lots of outstanding supporting documentation. The government has declared that the flying foxes are a protected species then, the government need to fund research into a vaccine to protect horses and humans.
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This virus is devastating with both its human and equine loss of life (are other animals susceptible? We don't know - it took many years to show up in horses). We have an opportunity to take initiative and control the virus before it becomes a greater threat. There could also be benefits if other similar viruses cross into domestic animal and human populations. It is important.
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I believe that funding should be made immediately to the CSIRO in a bid to develop a vaccine for this horrible virus. It is rather alarming that we even need to sign a petition for such a potential threat to our livestock and people - and that the govt. Forewarned is Forearmed.
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Stop spinning to the public that this is a 'rare' and under control problem - this informative webpage has answered so many queries we, as horse owners and residents in a bat area, have had for many years - yet it also leaves many questions unanswered. When will the Federal Government give this disease the funding it requires? Will it be before many other vets, horse industry workers and horse/pet owners die?
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I lost my horse to Hendra virus in 2006 and live with the threat from a large colony of bats on my property. A vaccine is vital and necessary to save human lives and provide some level of peace of mind for those in areas where bats are active. My greatest fear is that a child should contract the virus from their pony. A vaccine will is necessary.
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I would hate too see us end up like America with complacency and other hazardous issues.
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WHY WHY when it kills people and horses would you not put money in research
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Very informative and congratulations on sharing your pet project with us all!

Pat yourself on the back as I'm sure this will open A LOT of eyes as to just how much Hendra can affect not only ones Horses but Humans as well.
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The need for a vaccine is of vital importance with climate change causing an even larger flight path for these animals. There needs to be a public awareness campaign also to teach owners how to react in the first instance they suspect Hendra virus to ensure their own and others safety.
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This virus is deadly, its time to take action before more families lose a member. We need funding NOW!
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From the limited information available, I believe that 2 horses on my property have had Hendra virus. One died and one survived. Both were attended by Vet within hours of showing symptoms. Both had blood samples tested with 'not detected' outcomes. However the symptoms were very indicative of this virus. Fruit bats were active in the area at the time. Both horses were pregnant mares and were paddocked together. Incidents were approximately 26 days apart.
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Stop wasting time and put the money into the research to help save HUMAN lives as well as equine lives. Do you want the population to become the fattest race on earth because they are too scared to venture outside?
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We need to be informed and have the right to know what is being done to protect every one from this virus that is relatively unknown and we dont know if it will be able to transfer from bats to humans in the future. At this stage only Qld seems to be at risk but who knows in the future.
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Well done, bout time someone spoke the truth!
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This is not a problem that should be swept under the carpet. It is a great concern to any horse owner. More research needs to be done on if it is just horses that contract this disease or if other domestic animals can get it and obviously a cure is a must.
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Page updated:   1st June 2010