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Qld DPI Orders Hendra Survivor Euthanased

Friday, 15th August 2008

The Queensland Department Of Primary Industries has ordered Hendra virus victim Tamworth (the only survivor from 5 horses infected in July at the still-quarantined Redlands Veterinary Clinic) to be euthanased by a department inspector this morning, despite objections by breeder Warren Small. He told the ABC he offered to sell Tamworth to the Queensland Government so they could study "how & why it survived", but the offer was declined despite Small's claim that "they don't have any answer to this virus, this is the only living animal ever that's beat the virus." Though Tamworth has been cleared of the virus, Queensland DPI chief vet Dr Ron Glanville explained allowing Tamworth to live is not an option, noting: "Based on medical advice, it was too big a risk for people that would be looking after the horse. . . . . The horse is a victim of unfortunate circumstances, but it does present a risk & our priority is to remove that risk." In a final plea, Small told Radio 2KY yesterday: "I'm that confident the horse doesn't have the virus, I'll suggest to them that I be the guinea pig. I'll look after the horse for 12 months adhering to quarantine protocol, on my own property, provided they set it up properly. . . . . We can't understand why they don't want to research the animal."

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