No Decision Yet on Second Recovered Hendra Horse

No decision has been made about the fate of a horse near Proserpine, which appears to have recovered after contracting Hendra virus.

Biosecurity Queensland's Chief Veterinary Officer Ron Glanville BSc, BVSc, MVS, said initial tests revealed the horse was infected with the potentially lethal virus. It has remained under strict quarantine.

"We agreed to the owners' request to run further tests and will be speaking with them about the future of the horse," Glanville said.

Another horse that had recovered from Hendra at a clinic near Brisbane was euthanized earlier this month.

Under the national AusVetPlan, it is a requirement that infected horses be euthanized to ensure they cannot spread the virus to other horses or to humans. This plan is a nationally approved set of best practice policies for responding to emergency diseases.

"Unfortunately, the scientific evidence tells us there is a possibility of a horse suffering a relapse of the disease and posing a serious risk to other horses or humans," Glanville said. "Tests on the tissue samples of a 'recovered' horse that was euthanized at Redlands over a week ago indicate that Hendra virus was still present at the time of death.

"The AusVetPlan is very clear about what is required to prevent further spread of this highly fatal disease, and human health and safety must come first in these cases," Glanville said.

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