A vet holds a syringe of the Hendra Virus Vaccine.
Image sourced from www.abc.net.au/news

June to October has proven to be the most prevalent time for Hendra Virus and so far this year a number of cases have been confirmed in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. With Hendra Virus back in the news headlines I wanted to discuss the vaccination and in particular the risks and effects of this contagious disease on the veterinary industry.

Never before has there been a disease that can have such a detrimental effect on the horse industry, including both people and horses. Equine Influenza (EI), had an effect on all horses with horses falling ill and horse movement restrictions being in place for a number of months, but the difference between that and Hendra was that there was no risk to human life and only a few horses died. Hendra Virus by comparison, is so dangerous that all horses that have contracted the virus have died or been euthanased. So far seven people have been infected and four of those have died. There is currently no cure or registered treatment for Hendra Virus. It is this risk to human life which is causing veterinarians to question whether they should be visiting or treating unvaccinated horses. Some vets are reportedly already refusing to visit unvaccinated horses and I can only presume that this number may increase.

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egg-cartonWhen you’re standing there in the egg isle of the supermarket trying to decide on what eggs you should buy it can be quite confusing. All the labels say different things, Free Range, Caged, Barn Laid, RSPCA Approved, Pastured, Organic, Certified Organic, but what do these all mean?

The classification and what is stated on the egg carton label refers to the way that the hens that lay the eggs are treated, how they live and/or what they are being fed. Below is a bit of a summary of the different egg classifications to help you make an informed choice when you purchase your eggs.

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caged chickens

Caged Chickens

Have you seen the new advertisements running on television and media outlets at the moment about our egg producing hens?  The “That Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” campaign, like many others that have been run, is aiming to raise awareness about the lives led by our egg producing hens here in Australia.

I am supportive of any campaign that might help put a stop to caged hens and I think this one is a really clever and engaging way to raise awareness. I enjoy the comical and yet still informative approach to the topic rather than the “shock value” approach with graphic and unpleasant (although truthful) images.  It still gets the message across to consumers and it is also nice to see a number of celebrities supporting the cause. The hope is that by supplying consumers with more facts about caged hens it will encourage them to re-consider the types of eggs they are purchasing and hopefully avoid the cage laid eggs.
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Image courtesy of http://www.thesun.co.uk

Image courtesy of http://www.thesun.co.uk

We are constantly hearing reports on the news about global warming and climate change. We know that pollutants from cars, mining and factories contribute to this, but did you know that cow’s actually affect global warming too?

The agricultural industry emits methane gases and nitrous oxide which generates up to 20% of all Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Australia. Cattle and other ruminant animals, like sheep and goats, are responsible for over 70% of the agricultural industry emissions, with animal excreta and nitrogen based fertilisers making up the remaining 30%.

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