The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) welcomes today’s Coalition initiative to help protect horse vets against life threatening infection.
The Coalition plan, which was announced today by the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, The Hon John Cobb MP, will provide Hendra virus information packs and protective suits for horse vets throughout Australia.
“We are strongly supportive of national measures like this which provide immediate protection for veterinarians working with horses,” Dr Barry Smyth, President of the Australian Veterinary Association.
“So far cases of Hendra infection have been restricted to Queensland and New South Wales; however there is a potential for the disease wherever there are flying foxes.
“The threat from diseases like Hendra is increasing due to factors such as changing ecosystems and habitat destruction. This equipment will be helpful in protecting vets from other infectious diseases as well.
“The AVA also recommends that a Centre for Infectious Diseases based on collaboration between animal and human health institutes should be established in Australia to ensure effective recognition, control and treatment of such diseases.
“At the moment we have a major gap in our ability to detect and respond to infectious diseases that can affect both animals and human. The collaborative Centre for Infectious Diseases will be an important move towards better health for all species,” he said.