Renewed biosecurity call as Hendra case is finalised in the Upper Hunter

HUNTER Local Land Services (HLLS) has renewed its call for Hunter and Mid Coast horse owners to implement good biosecurity practices, following a Hendra Virus diagnosis in an unvaccinated mare near Scone last month.

The property has now been cleared of any movement restrictions, after completing a 21 day monitoring period.

HLLS District Vet Jane Bennett has thanked the landholders and local industry for their cooperation.

"It is important unusual animal deaths and diseases are reported, so we can help protect and maintain Australia's strong biosecurity standards," Dr Bennett said.

"Suspected Hendra Virus cases are particularly important to report in order to protect the health of people and horses that have been in contact.

"Both the local property owners as well as private vets and the equine industry have been very understanding and supportive of the process, following the confirmation of Hendra Virus in one horse, that died in June."

There have been no further cases in the region since the initial death, which was the first confirmed case of Hendra Virus in our region.

HLLS said they want reassure local horse owners they can carry on their regular activities, but it is also important to maintain good biosecurity practices and consider their vaccination schedule.

HLLS worked with the Department of Primary Industries and NSW Health to assist the property owners in managing the situation and they also undertook meetings with equine vets and thoroughbred breeding industry leaders to review vaccination protocols in the region and best practice safety practices in dealing with suspected Hendra Virus cases.

Vaccination of horses is the most effective way to help manage Hendra Virus.

It is also recommended horses are not fed or watered under trees frequented by Flying Foxes and horse owners keep an eye on any visiting colonies and try to keep horses away from these populations.