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Posted by Equestrian Victoria on 09/03/2014.

Media Statement – Hendra Vaccination By-Law

UPDATE

The proposed implementation date of the EA Hendra Vaccination By Law has been postponed.

EA is still committed to implementing a vaccination policy that protects and safeguards EA members and event organisers. EA Event Organising Committees continue to be encouraged to classify all their events as Hendra Vaccinated Events based upon their own risk assessment. EA is willing to assist any event organiser with a risk assessment.

EA is aware that many upcoming events have already been classified as HVE events. There is no requirement from EA to reclassify these events. EA fully encourages and supports clubs/event organisers that have chosen to classify their events as HVE. EA recognises that event organisers are within their rights and obliged to manage the risk of Hendra disease at their events as they see fit prior to the By Law implementation date, and that EA members must observe any requirements made by event organisers in this regard.

EA members must conform to any event entry requirement that is made by the EA Club/Event Organiser requires vaccination for Hendra disease.

 

2 September

In line with the Hendra Vaccination By-Law, Equestrian Australia (EA) has reviewed the By-Law before the proposed implementation date of 1st October 2014.

In the review process, EA has taken into account submissions from members, its Branches and club affiliates. EA has also recently received further scientific advice upon vaccination duration of immunity, and the correlation of the geography/known distribution of flying fox species and their relationship to infected premises/outbreaks. 

EA has decided to delay the implementation date of the Hendra Vaccination By-Law until it has taken enough time to fully consider the impact of these developments on the risk assessment of a Hendra outbreak at EA events and the role vaccination will play to mitigate the risk. EA will continue to review and assess the impact of the By Law on horses, members and event organisers. The EA Hendra Vaccination By-Law currently remains effective but now has a delayed implementation date. EA expects that further enquiries, review and consultation is likely to take 8 to 12 weeks and that EA will provide 3 months' notice of the future implementation date of its Hendra Vaccination By-Law.

EA is committed to creating policies and by laws that increase safety, mitigate risk and are in the best interest of its members and the sport. Hendra is a fatal emerging zoonotic disease that has a biology that is not yet fully understood.

Hendra disease creates an unacceptable risk at higher risk events that warrants mitigation by vaccination. The EA Board is committed to a vaccination policy for these events. Government, veterinary and researcher advice is that vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent Hendra disease. Queensland Government advice continues to state that Hendra virus requires careful risk management and that vaccination provides a work place health and safety and public health benefit. Appropriately, EA Event Organising Committees are still encouraged to classify all their Events as Hendra Vaccinated Events.

EA supports the many members who have already vaccinated their horses. Reported vaccination uptake rates in EA horses have been very encouraging and reflect the concern that members have for their horses and managing the risk from Hendra Disease.

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