Hendra Virus Alert Spreads To Randwick Racecourse

By: Sarah Fortnum
July 12th, 2011

With the elevated threat of Hendra Virus that currently exists throughout Queensland and New South Wales, Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse has been put on high alert.

The alert was issued due to a large bat population that resides in Centennial Park, which is located nearby.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said that the track is taking all possible precautions to ensure that Hendra Virus is not contracted by any horses at Randwick.

“Considerable numbers of these animals are known to visit the Randwick racecourse precinct to feed on the fruits of the many fig trees on course,” Mr V’landys said.

Mr V’landys also called upon trainers to help mitigate the risks.

“… It is essential that Randwick trainers also take basic precautions to prevent the possibility of their horses being infected (as well as) minimising the risk of human infection,” he said.

Seven horses on farms in Queensland and New South Wales have already passed away as a result of the lethal Hendra Virus, while many more remain quarantined after being exposed to the disease.

While no person has fallen casualty to the virus during this most recent outbreak, as many as 30 people are currently awaiting test results after coming into contact with affected horses.

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