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People can spread equine flu - top vet

September 9, 2007

People moving between farms or stables are a major risk-factor for spreading of horse flu (equine influenza) according to Queensland's Chief Veterinary Officer.

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Biosecurity Queensland's chief vet Dr Ron Glanville said all horse owners need to realise that people can carry the horse flu virus on their clothes, shoes, hats, hair or body.

"People should avoid moving between farms or stables unless it is absolutely necessary, and then, only when correct decontamination is employed," Dr Glanville said.

"While there is no risk to human health from equine influenza, it is essential that people who are exposed to horses or who have regular contact with horses should shower and change into clean clothing and footwear and a clean hat, before coming into contact with any other horses," he said.

"This applies in particular to farm and stable owners and workers, farriers, equine dentists and chiropracters, horse strappers, vets and other animal carers, trainers and jockeys that might move between one location to another.

"Where possible, they should avoid all contact with other horses on other farms or stables, and horse equipment must not be moved between farms or shared among other horses.

"At this critical time, no one should be patting or touching a horse that is not their own, or even walking into horse paddocks or stables where they are not responsible for the care of that horse.

This is particularly important in areas where equine influenza has been diagnosed on several properties, including Goondiwindi, Warwick, Minden, Rosewood, Brisbane Western suburbs and Tamborine.

All horse owners are encouraged to register on the DPI&F website so that they can receive important information and updates about the horse flu situation," he said.

All horse owners should employ the following biosecurity measures:

All people coming in contact with horses (including farriers, equine dentists and chiropracters, horse strappers, vets and other animal carers) should: Observe all horse movement restrictions Horse owners cannot: Horse owners can: Droving or Mustering: Register your horse Permits Report sick horses More information



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