Hendra virus is main issue
HE has just 12 months, but Warwick veterinarian Chris Reardon knows time is critical in his mission to see a vaccine developed for Hendra virus.
The local vet has just stepped into the role of president of the national Equine Veterinarians Association.
His term at the helm of the professional body, representing 1000 equine vets nationally, will last just a year.
Despite the short time frame he aims to do everything in his power to increase national awareness of Hendra virus and pressure government to support research into the deadly disease.
“I am the first Queensland president in a while, so I want to push a cause that is critical here,” Dr Reardon said.
“I would like to see a focus short term on developing personal protection gear for vets nationally, so they are protected while a vaccine is developed.”
He said the practical elements of ensuring vets were operating under workplace health and safety guidelines were also imperative.
“A year is not long, but I’m committed to doing what I can to effect change to and see other states adopt protective measures,” Dr Reardon said.
“Hendra is not just a Queensland problem; it is only a matter of time before it spreads to other states.
“And it prevents a major risk for vets involved with treating horses.”
Dr Reardon has been actively involved with EVA, which operates under the mantle of the Australian Veterinarians Association, for seven years.
He said the association has serviced the needs of members, advised on the equine health issues and acted as a stakeholder for the industry.
Southern Downs racing identity Basil Nolan, who has recently been elected president of the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association, yesterday welcomed Dr Reardon’s appointment.
“It is a positive thing for industry to have an EVA president who has experience on the job,” Mr Nolan said.
“It is good for Warwick and good for Chris.”