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Rockhampton horse events "should proceed as normal"

August 21, 2009

Rockhampton's horse community is being encouraged to continue with planned events as authorities respond to the Hendra virus outbreak at nearby Cawarral.

The outbreak has left a veterinarian in critical condition in hospital, killed two horses, and left a dozen people and more than 30 horses under close surveillance.

Biosecurity Queensland acting chief veterinary officer Rick Symons said that there were several equestrian events happening in the Rockhampton district this weekend and competitors were encouraged to attend as they would normally.

"I want to assure event organisers and competitors that there are no additional constraints regarding attending events such as pony club, campdrafts and dressage competitions.

"This incident is a timely reminder to event organisers and competitors of their responsibilities when holding and participating in events.

"This includes continuing to collect information on all horses attending events, maintaining good biosecurity at events and not allowing sick horses to attend events, amongst other measures," he said.

To boost community confidence, the Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries mobile office will attend several horse and livestock events in the next few days.

Experienced Biosecurity officers and Queensland Health staff will be on hand to present Hendra virus information relating to animal and human health to horse owners and other members of the community.

The mobile office will be at Saturday's Yeppoon Dressage Meet from 11am to 2pm and Sunday's Paradise Lagoon Pony Club Camp draft, from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

There will also be staff and a display at the Clarke Creek Camp draft, Old Pacific Highway, Marlborough on Sunday, from 8am to 4pm.


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