Appeal started to help Hendra-affected stud

August 25, 2009

The Queensland Horse Council has started an appeal to help the owners of the Queensland stud at the centre of a Hendra outbreak.

The J4S Equine Nursery, at Cawarall, near Rockhampton, had two horses die from Hendra on August 7 and August 8. A third horse was put down this week as a result of a positive test to the infection, which is carried by native fruit bats.

The cause of death of a fourth horse, late in July, could not be determined.

The outbreak has put Rockhampton vet Dr Alister Rodgers in hospital with the infection, where he remains in a critical condition. Three staff of the stud potentially exposed to the virus are also in hospital, having their condition monitored.

The Queensland Horse Council said it was seeking donations to help support the property, owned by John and Christine Brady, for the duration of quarantine period.

"The running costs of this facility run to about $A8000 a month, and the owners have suspended all agistment charges, so the money for their care has to be found urgently," the council said.

"Because horses have to maintain the same diet and can't be changed suddenly from one feed to another, donations of goods aren't encouraged. We need to be able to buy the feed they are used to. All monies will be accounted for.

"Please help these people who have had this disaster land on their doorstep."

The council said the equine nursery's regular supplier, Prides, had donated one tonne of Easy Response feed.

John Brady told media soon after the outbreak began that he feared the financial impact would be crippling.

Mr Brady, with advanced heart disease, said he was still financially recovering from an equine influenza outbreak at his property last year, which cost him $A200,000.

 

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