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Veterinary Submission to Hendra Vaccine Inquiry Sets Out a Way Forward

06 May 2016

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Veterinary Association, on behalf of its 9,000 members, has provided a detailed submission to the Queensland government’s inquiry into the Hendra virus vaccine.

It sets out some of the realities of being an equine vet in Queensland, while also pointing to recommendations and solutions.

Spokesperson representing equine veterinarians, Dr Nathan Anthony, said that current concerns relating to Hendra virus can only be addressed through cooperation and communication among all stakeholders.

“Animal welfare, workplace health and safety and public safety are shared responsibilities where vets, government agencies and horse owners all have a role to play.

“We’ve provided a detailed submission to the inquiry outlining our recommendations in relation to the terms of reference of the inquiry.

“We’re hopeful that our recommendations will be taken on board so that we can find a positive solution to the ongoing concerns that vets, horse owners and the community have in relation to Hendra virus,” Dr Anthony said.

“In recent years, veterinarians in particular have had to consider increasingly complex risks in their decisions relating to Hendra virus.

“This is due to a range of factors including the unpredictability of the disease, the death of two vets, and the inability to insure against business interruption if a veterinary practice is quarantined following a confirmed case of Hendra.

“It’s not always easy to communicate these complexities and the expectations of government agencies such as Workplace Health and Safety Queensland to horse owners with a sick horse needing emergency care.

“So we really appreciate the opportunity to make a submission to the inquiry that sets out our concerns and recommendations clearly, and that provides the supporting evidence for our suggested way forward.

“We look forward to fully participating in the inquiry and reading the final report which is due to be presented to the Queensland government in August this year,” Dr Anthony said.


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