Keeping horses, donkeys and mules

Horse health and welfare

This page has information about horse health and wellbeing.

Hendra virus

If you own horses, or move them from interstate into the Northern Territory (NT), you should know about the risk of Hendra virus.

Hendra virus is spread by flying foxes and bats. It causes respiratory or neurological disease in horses. In some cases it can be passed on to humans. Read more about flying foxes.

There are no known cases in the NT, however, the virus is carried by flying foxes in the Territory.

Most of the known cases in Australia have been in Queensland.

Information for horse owners and the horse industry

For more information read the following:

Go to the Queensland Department of Health website to access a Hendra virus infection resource kit.

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has extensive resources and information about Hendra virus. To find out more about Hendra virus for industry and horse owners go to the Queensland Government's Business website.

Go to Animal Health Australia's Farm Biosecurity website for information about horses and farm biosecurity. You can access biosecurity tools including the horse venue biosecurity workbook.

Information for veterinarians

Get the guidelines for NT veterinarians about how to investigate and deal with suspected cases of Hendra virus.

Guidelines for NT veterinarians DOCX (118.3 KB)
Guidelines for NT veterinarians PDF (195.0 KB)

To find out about veterinarian guidelines and assistance for handling Hendra virus in horses go to the Queensland Government's Business website.


There are publications for horse owners in the NT about other horse diseases and general management topics.

Disease What it's about
Birdsville disease PDF (83.1 KB) How to recognise the Birdsville indigo plant, how to tell if your animal has been poisoned by eating it and how to manage its impact

Strangles in horses PDF (163.7 KB)

How to detect, treat and prevent this infectious bacterial disease

Swainsona poisoning PDF (243.7 KB)

How to recognise the Swainsona plant, how to tell if your animal has been poisoned by eating it and how to control the plant

Walkabout (Kimberley horse) disease from eating rattlepod plants  PDF (242.9 KB)

Information about rattlepod plants and their fatal effects on horses
General information topic What it's about

Fencing for horse safety and security PDF (98.0 KB)

How to safely fence horse paddocks to minimise damage to animals and keep them safe

Feeding livestock in temporary holding facilities  PDF (69.1 KB)

How to properly care for and feed horses that are temporarily confined in places such as stockyards or saleyards

Pastures for horses on small rural properties PDF (380.2 KB)

How to choose the right pasture species to sow in your horse paddocks

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Last updated: 13 July 2017

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