AVA: Events for Horses Without Hendra Protection is Risky

The AVA believes events held exclusively for horses unvaccinated against Hendra virus raise health and welfare concerns.

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Australia’s peak body for veterinarians, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), has expressed concern about the health and welfare of horses unvaccinated against Hendra virus at equestrian events held specifically for unvaccinated animals.

Ben Poole, BVSc, MANZCVS, AVA spokesman, said the association provides advice based on best practice horse welfare while meeting work health and safety obligations.

“Equine vets work closely with horse owners and event organizers every day of the year to help make Australian horse sport as safe and successful as possible,” he said. “However, events (including endurance rides) that are held exclusively for unvaccinated horses raises serious health and welfare concerns.

“Obviously for these types of taxing, long-distance events it’s common for horses to need veterinary care, and in some instances, urgently,” Poole said. “This is currently not possible however due to protocols around the treatment of unvaccinated horses

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