Primary Industries and Regions SA has produced material to help horse owners:
- minimise risk of disease introduction
- recognise diseases symptoms
- notify the correct people about suspected diseases
- control risks to themselves and other healthy animals.
General information for horse owners
Read our page on reporting animal diseases so you are prepared in case of serious disease in your animals.
We have a page about the Hendra virus.
- downloadable material.
- When to call for help with your horses ()
- Horse alert South Australia - manual ()
- Horse biosecurity glovebox guide ()
- Biosecurity and disinfection procedures for horse owners ()
- Hendra virus – Advice for horse owners as a fact sheet ()
- What to do while waiting for Hendra virus test results - information for horse owners ( or )
Hendra virus information for veterinarians
- Understanding Hendra virus - for equine veterinarians ( or )
- Entry and exit procedures for contaminated site ()
- Safely packing biological samples for Hendra virus testing ( or )
- Reduce the risk - planning for a safe work environment ( or )
Mosquito Borne Disease alert – Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus and West Nile virus
PIRSA is reminding horse owners to be on the lookout for the potential impact of symptoms of mosquito borne disease such as Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus and West Nile virus/Kunjin in their horses. This follows the detection of antibodies to both diseases in sentinel chickens located in the Riverland.
Sentinel chickens are a good indicator of mosquito borne disease risk and this latest detection has prompted the warning to horse owners to not only be alert but to minimise exposure of their horses to mosquitos as much as possible.
Mosquito mitigation strategies:
- Use mosquito repellent
- Cover horses or keep them indoors at a time of high mosquito activity – particularly at dawn and dusk
- Eliminate mosquito breeding areas on your properties
In horses, infections with these viruses will not always show signs of disease. Symptoms can also be very similar to other diseases, including the Hendra virus.
Good biosecurity practices should always be followed when checking on your horses, however, as Hendra can be fatal to both horses and humans, it is essential to wear appropriate personal protective equipment when interacting with horses displaying symptoms.
If you notice that your horse appears unwell, please contact your veterinarian to arrange for an examination and possible laboratory testing. Veterinarians should contact their local PIRSA veterinary officer for testing protocols and guidelines.
West Nile virus/Kunming is a notifiable disease in animals in South Australia. Vets are being asked to report any unexplained neurological cases to PIRSA by contacting their local PIRSA Veterinary Officer or phoning the Emergency Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.