It has been a shocking year for horse owners, with a record number of Hendra virus outbreaks and horse deaths through an emerging disease called Kunjin virus occurring across three states.
Climate variability, increased urbanisation and stresses placed on wildlife populations through loss of habitat are playing a significant role.
The media spotlight is frequently placed on the biosecurity practices of veterinarians and horse owners. Photos of government officials dressed head to foot in protective clothing are now all too familiar - it’s not quite the picture of the Australian stockman and his working horse that is squarely imprinted on our cultural heritage memory.
Never before has horse health and human health been so closely linked in our community.
In recognition of this emerging area of learning, a three year PhD scholarship is now on offer from the University of South Australia. It is valued at $27,000 per year, tax free.
Investigations will include identification of triggers for change in horse husbandry practices to support adoption of appropriate biosecurity practices.
“This is an exciting opportunity for a quality candidate to work closely with horse owners and organisations to investigate these horse husbandry values, traditions and the ability to apply innovations” said Julie Fiedler, Executive Officer of Horse SA, a partner organisation who is helping to support the successful applicant with horse industry networks. “The focus will be on diseases that could have a human health impact.”
Applications close on 5 August. Further information can be found on www.horsesa.asn.au
Horse SA has, as a key goal, to make sure horses are a valued part of our Australian culture, community and business life. The organisation works at all levels of government, business and non-profit organisations through to grass roots horse owners to achieve that goal.