Equestrian NSW Announces Equine Hendra Vaccination Policy

On July 30 Equestrian New South Wales (NSW), the Australian state's horse sport body, announced a new policy that requires all horses entering Equestrian Australia (EA)/Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) events deemed "hendra vaccinated events" to be vaccinated against hendra virus. The rule will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

"Equestrian NSW has a responsibility to its members, horses, event organizers, and venues to implement a policy to protect equine and human health for the entire community by all available means," the organization said in a statement on its website. "Widespread vaccination would effectively prevent future human and equine fatalities."

"Equestrian NSW is currently in talks with Zoetis, the producer of the hendra vaccine, to continue to offer the vaccine as affordably as possible for EA-registered horses only for a short time," the statement continued. "As part of this initiative Equestrian NSW will also offer a 50% reduction on the cost of EA online base horse registrations on the proviso that members taking up this offer also vaccinate against hendra."

Additional details on the vaccine offer and EA horse registrations will be available in the near future, Equestrian NSW said.

The policy presented on the Equestrian NSW website is as follows:

Equestrian NSW requires that, as of Jan. 1, 2014, all horses attending any Equestrian Australia/FEI event conducted in NSW considered a hendra vaccinated event (HVE, any EA/FEI event held in NSW where one or more horses are staying overnight at the event venue) will be fully protected against hendra virus as per the manufacturer’s registered label claim. Event organizers of HVEs must refuse entry to anyone who cannot verify their horses have been fully vaccinated.

More information about the hendra vaccine regulations is available on the Equestrian NSW website.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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