Cooran competitor Billy Raymont has concerns about the hendra vaccine.
Cooran competitor Billy Raymont has concerns about the hendra vaccine. Noosa News

Hendra dispute goes on

BIOSECURITY Queensland has stopped short of unqualified endorsement of the CSIRO developed hendra virus vaccine, despite a veterinary claim it is safe for breeders and is BQ recommended.

Gympie Show officials and nearby show jumping enthusiasts have reported a competitors' boycott of the Brisbane Exhibition over its ban on unvaccinated horses.

Riders are said to claim vaccinated horses would be unable to compete or be sold in some Asian countries, where horses are excluded if they have hendra antibodies.

Some have also expressed concerns about the vaccine's effect on breeding ability.

The claims, reported by The Gympie Times on Friday drew an angry response from Equine Veterinarians Australia president Warwick Vale.

Dr Vale said The Gympie Times' report was "factually incorrect", despite its accurate reporting of claims relayed to it by Gympie Show chief ring steward John Warren and show jump supporter Joy Ringrose.

Dr Vale said the vaccine was "safe in breeding stock" with "very few export problems" and was BQ recommended.

Biosecurity Queensland said it backed the vaccine but recognised the rights of horse owners to make their own decisions.

Event organisers bore the responsibility of determining "what health checks and vaccinations are required for horses to compete".

"This is a private decision which does not involve the Queensland Government," she said.