Calls for Hendra Virus research funding

Government funding is needed immediately to conduct research into the deadly Hendra Virus.

Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association President Basil Nolan says now is the perfect opportunity to thoroughly research HeV following these unprecedented five separate outbreaks.

“This is the first time in the history of Hendra Virus research that we have a chance to study a cluster of outbreaks,” Nolan claimed.  “These cases have all occurred within an eight day timeframe of each other.  Why?”

Nolan said now is the prime time to discover what, if any, links there are between these properties regarding the trees, fruit and flowers which are the bat food source and if there were similar management practices on each affected property.

“We still do not know exactly why and how the flying foxes and horses interact.  The potential is here right now to study this cluster and learn what is happening to help predict potential outbreaks or, better still, implement management techniques to avoid future outbreaks.”

The TBQA President said Biosecurity Queensland and the CSIRO have done a fantastic job to date with their research and control strategies.  “More money is needed and I would like to see the State and Federal Governments contribute to this desperately needed research immediately,” Nolan stressed.  “We only have a short window of opportunity and we don’t want to miss it.  Time is of the essence.”