HORSE owners in Ipswich are lining up to vaccinate their animals following the release of a commercial hendra vaccine in Queensland.
While the vaccine is not compulsory, local vets have already compiled long waiting lists of people keen to take advantage of the new protection.
Lowood resident Anita Demmers said she had already added her eight-year-old quarter horse,
Apple, to her local vet's vaccination register.
"We've been on a waiting list with our vet for a while," Ms Demmers said.
"People don't really have a choice because soon vets and chiropractors won't come to your property unless the horses are done.
"It's about protecting your family above all else.
"We don't know what the cost will be but it's worth it to protect our horses and families."
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh has welcomed the release of the vaccine and highlighted the roll-out procedure.
"The release of the vaccine offers real hope for the horse industry in the fight against hendra," Mr McVeigh said.
Lisa Gassow has eight horses and said the vaccine was just the latest step in protecting the animals and family members from the deadly virus.
"Hendra was a real worry for all horse owners," she said.
"We've changed the way we feed the horses and removed trees to keep the bats away.
"Now we will vaccinate the animals as another line of protection."
- Since 1994 there have been 67 horse (known) and four human deaths directly related to hendra virus infections.
- Hendra has a 60% fatality rate in humans and a 75% fatality rate in horses.