Horse Owner Input Sought on Hendra Survey

The Queensland, Australia, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI) is seeking horse owner input in a survey regarding hendra virus, according to a statement on the DPI website.

The statement reads, "The Horse Owner Survey on hendra virus will ask Queensland and New South Wales' horse owners about their understanding, attitudes, opinions and horse management practices relating to hendra virus."

The information collected will be used in future "risk management strategies, plans, communications, and policies."

The survey is available online and will close on Feb. 28.

Hendra virus has been known to yield numerous clinical signs in horses including respiratory distress, frothy nasal discharge, elevated body temperature (above 40°C, or 104°F), and elevated heart rate; however, authorities caution that hendra infection does not have specific signs.

The Australian Veterinary Association suggested that horse owners can reduce the risks of hendra virus in their horses by fencing off trees attractive to flying foxes (a type of fruit bat), covering horse feed and water containers, and not feeding horses food that could appeal to flying foxes, such as fruit and vegetables.


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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