Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA) spokesperson, Dr Nathan Anthony, said there have been several unsubstantiated claims that the Hendra vaccine negatively affects racehorse performance.
“The results from Eagle Farm clearly dispel that myth and is another example that proves the Hendra vaccine is safe and effective for racing horses,” Dr Anthony said.
The Tatts Tiara is one of the feature events of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, attracting the best horses from all over Australia. The feature race, the Group One Tatts Club Tiara, was won by the fully vaccinated four-year-old mare, Miss Cover Girl.
“The two feature sprint and staying races conducted by the Rockhampton Jockey Club, the Newmarket and the Cup were also won by Hendra vaccinated horses.
“Queensland’s best thoroughbred sprinter and two-time winner of the ‘Queensland Racehorse of the Year’ title, Buffering, won the Group One Al Quoz sprint in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai in March 2016 against a world class field. He was booster vaccinated against Hendra virus two months before he raced and won.
“Several of the racehorses under the care of our EVA members have raced and won races only 10 days following vaccination.
“These results demonstrate that trainers and owners can have confidence in the vaccine’s ability to prevent infection in horses, themselves and staff, and it is clear that vaccinated racehorses can maintain their elite performance levels.
“Racing thoroughbred and Standardbred horses aren’t currently required to be vaccinated in Queensland, but we think this is opening the door to potentially serious business interruption to these industries and needs to be addressed,” he said.
For more information about the vaccine, read the AVA’s submission to the Queensland parliament’s inquiry into the Hendra virus vaccine.