Horse owners are being urged to get their animals vaccinated against Hendra virus, following the first confirmed case in New South Wales for 2018.
An unvaccinated arab-cross had to be euthanised recently, after catching the infectious disease at a property near Tweed Heads.
The 4-year-old horse's owner noticed it was lethargic and not eating properly, before its conditions rapidly deteriorated the next day.
“Samples from the horse were sent by a private veterinarian for laboratory analysis to Queensland’s Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory at Coopers Plains and initial test results confirmed Hendra virus," said NSW Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Sarah Britton.
The property was placed under strict movement restrictions.
Dr Britton said giving your horse a jab is the most effective way to manage the disease.
“Vaccination of horses provides a public health and work health and safety benefit by reducing the risk of Hendra transmission to humans and other susceptible animals," she said.
She also urged owners to keep their pets away from flowering and fruiting trees that might attract bats, and to put feed and water undercover so they can't be contaminated from above.