Hendra virus claims another victim

YET another horse has tested positive for the Hendra virus, this time at Mullumbimby in New South Wales.

The horse died on Sunday and the positive test results were released yesterday.

The Fearon family – the owners of Dusty, the first dog to test positive for the virus – were yesterday waiting on results from a second test to see if the animal would have to be put down which Biosecurity Queensland has is likely.

Independent member for Burnett Rob Messenger said the call for the dog to be destroyed had raised questions.

“The first being, why doesn’t the same law apply to flying foxes?” he said.

“With a human mortality rate over 50 per cent and the first human victim dying after the virus re-emerged some 13 months after the disease was first contracted.

“Yes, I understand why the bio-security laws are so harsh, but why the exemption for flying foxes?”

Mr Messenger said experts had acknowledged the unnatural increase in flying fox numbers was probably the main cause of the outbreak.

“So why don’t we, as an immediate first response, reduce the flying fox numbers?” he said.

“Why is the government throwing money at research, which will not protect families now?”



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