TREATED WITH CAUTION: Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket before a horse there was cleared of suspected hendra virus.
TREATED WITH CAUTION: Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket before a horse there was cleared of suspected hendra virus. Jacob Carson

Lagoon Pocket horse has been cleared of hendra virus

AUTHORITIES have today confirmed that a horse put down at a Lagoon Pocket property on Sunday did not have the deadly hendra virus.

Emergency services who were called to the Kiaka Rd property erred on the side of caution when a horse in distress had to be put down.

A State Government spokesman said on Sunday afternoon there was " no reason to believe” the horse had contracted the disease.

"We've heard from the vet, who confirmed to Biosecurity Queensland that he doesn't think it was hendra,” the spokesman said.

An Agriculture Department spokesman said yesterday tests had cleared the animal of contamination.

The horse is believed to have become stuck in a creek on the property on Sunday morning, and to have then become increasingly erratic and distressed.

Fire crews were called to help rescue of the animal, but the decision was made to euthanise it when it became too stressed.

The government spokesman said the word "hendra” may have been used over two-way radio by fire crews, which had led to the scare.

Earlier that afternoon, fire crews were seen disinfecting themselves and removing material in sealed biohazard bags from the site.

While authorities said they had little reason to believe the horse was carrying the virus (crew members are believed to have not even come into contact with the animal), authorities erred on the side of caution.

"Of course we're trying to be as safe as possible,” the spokesman said.

"It's not confirmed of course, but we're treating it seriously - and we'll have test results to confirm our suspicions soon”.