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Posted by Equestrian Queensland on 11/08/2014.

Letter from the Board of Equestrian Queensland

EQ LogoDear Equestrian Queensland Member

I am writing to inform you that Equestrian Queensland has registered our disagreement with Equestrian Australia (EA) over the EA Hendra By-Law and Equestrian Competition Hendra Checklist released on 1 July 2014 and due for implementation 1 October 2014.

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our members, our horses, and all related stakeholders is our paramount concern and responsibility.

EQ has been working closely with government agencies including Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Queensland Health, Biosecurity Queensland and the Queensland Equine Industry over the past seven years (and more recently with the Queensland Horse Industry Alliance (QHIA)) to develop an effective and workable policy response to biosecurity threats, including Hendra virus. EQ’s biosecurity policy is on our website at/default.asp?Page=35451.

The basis of our disagreement about the EA Hendra By-Law and checklist is:

  • The absence of a comprehensive government-endorsed risk and impact assessment supporting mandatory vaccination. For example areas have been classified as endemic without any supporting evidence of Hendra incidents or risk.
  • Inappropriate application of authority and failing to adequately consult and consider the implications of the by-law on members. For example the by-law effectively transfers accountability to event organisers.
  • An unworkable and flawed by-law and checklist. For example if a joint pony club and EA event was held at the same venue, only horses competing in the EA sanctioned event would be subject to mandatory vaccination.

Essentially EQ is seeking to repeal the EA Hendra Vaccination By-law and the checklist and replace it with a national biosecurity plan that is evidence-based and informed by experts in human health, equine health, and workplace health and safety.

There has been some confusion about EQ’s position and I would like to reassure you that our disagreement is not about being for or against vaccination.

EQ remains pro vaccination. The uptake from our members, including 93% of Interschool members, shows that. Our disagreement is not valuing commercial activity over human health, it is about being informed by scientific evidence and fact driven risk and impact assessments.

We are taking this action in response to the views expressed through our regular meetings with our sport committees, clubs, and members. As well as the points outlined in our disagreement, we have conveyed to EA concerns expressed to us by our members including:

  • The mandating of a vaccine that is currently unregistered, has an undetermined immunity period, and has no market controls because the supplier has a monopoly.
  • The lack of information about serious reactions to the vaccine.
  • The impact on competition and commercial activities in Queensland.

EQ’s priority remains to ensure a safe environment for equestrian activities. We will continue to listen to your concerns and we will keep you informed.  

Please don’t hesitate to contact me, the EQ office, or any member of the EQ Board if you would like further information.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Toft


On behalf of the Board of Equestrian Queensland

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