Veterinarian lands horse biosecurity role

October 31, 2009


Fiona Thompson

A Queensland veterinarian has been appointed to a new position aimed at educating horse owners about biosecurity issues and the deadly Hendra virus.

The appointee is Fiona Thompson, a qualified veterinarian who has more than 12 years experience in private veterinary practice.

Director of the state's Animal Biosecurity and Welfare, Allison Crook, said Thompson had a wealth of personal and professional experience in the horse industry.

"Her varied experience as a practising vet, horse industry representative and roles with Biosecurity Queensland during the equine influenza response and recent Hendra virus responses, mean she is well equipped for this vital role," Crook said.

"Horse diseases and infections such as Hendra virus can be difficult to manage, but through good communication and working in partnership with industry we can reduce some of the risks."

Thompson is passionate about horses. She and her daughters are members of Pony Club, the Equestrian Federation of Australia (EFA) and the Queensland Inter-School Equestrian Association (QISEA).

"I've loved horses from a very early age," she said.

She said that passion made her keen to get the message out about horse health and how to protect them from diseases and infections.

"It's vital that everyone in the industry, from vets and horse owners to farriers and trainers, takes the initiative to learn about horse biosecurity issues.

"My main goal is to ensure we use the best methods to engage with all sectors of the industry so that accurate information about Hendra virus and other biosecurity risks is being passed on."

Some of the initiatives she has been involved in so far are the various Hendra virus information seminars being conducted across Queensland by different organisations.

"The Hendra information seminars happening across the state are a great way for people in the community to get the facts about Hendra virus and learn about what simple biosecurity measures they can do to protect their horses and families," Thompson said.