Hendra subsidy from RQ

RACING Queensland has announced it will offer a heavily subsidised hendra virus vaccination program in a bid to reduce the risk of the deadly disease.

The program will be available to all registered thoroughbred and harness race horses throughout the state and owners are being urged to take advantage of the scheme.

RQ chairman Kevin Dixon said hendra virus had already claimed the lives of eight horses this year across eight properties in Queensland and New South Wales, highlighting the seriousness of this disease.

"Hendra virus has the potential to cripple the racing industry, so doing nothing is not an option for Racing Queensland," Mr Dixon said.

"We have made the decision to roll out a vaccination program which aims to be affordable to trainers and owners."

Pharmaceutical company Zoetis - formerly known as Pfizer - released a vaccine on November 1 last year under a minor-use-permit designed to protect horses from this deadly virus.

As of yesterday, the vaccine cost of the first priming dose will be free for all current Queensland registered racehorses, while Zoetis will provide a $3.50 vaccine rebate for the second priming dose up until Monday, September 30.

Further discussions with the EVA have led to a set fee of between $30-$50 for administering each of the priming doses of the vaccine and the associated paperwork. Additional travel charges may apply.

"This means that the cost to owners for the primary course of hendra virus injections will be between $106.50 and $146.50 plus travel costs," Mr Dixon said.

Application forms can be found at on the RQ website.



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