ABC Australia — Hendra virus fears prompt cancellation of Aberdeen campdraft

Updated Mon at 5:32pm

Aberdeen Bushmen’s Campdraft cancelled

Fears thousands of bats may be carrying the deadly hendra virus have forced the cancellation of a Hunter Valley campdraft event.

Organisers of the Aberdeen Bushmen’s Campdraft say the annual event was scheduled for the last weekend of this month, but could take place in September instead.

Hendra has killed four people and 90 horses since it was discovered in Brisbane in 1994.

Event secretary Scott Ryan said organisers will meet in four weeks to determine whether the bats have moved on.

“We’ve got some bat problems up there at the moment, and they look like they’re here to stay for a little while,” he said.

“Just with the hendra virus going around at the moment, more up in the Queensland area, but everyone’s a bit worried about putting horses under bats.

“You know, they get really sick and have to be put down, and it can also be passed on to vets or anyone who has come into contact with a horse.

“People can die from it as well, so it’s pretty scary stuff.”

Mr Ryan said last month’s super storm has been blamed for the bats moving into the area.

“There’s thousands of bats down there,” he said.

“Supposedly, they’ve come from the coast, but because of the recent cyclonic weather on the coast they’ve come up the Hunter Valley, is what we’ve been told.

“It’s down on the river bank, this local government property.

“These bats are in all the trees where all the competitors will be camping.”

A Hunter Valley equine vet is urging Upper Hunter horse owners to make themselves aware of the health impacts flying foxes can have on them and their animals.
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