Japanese encephalitis information for horse owners

Queensland horse owners are urged to take steps to protect their horses against Japanese encephalitis virus and remain alert for signs of infection in their horses.

Contact your veterinarian if you think your horse is showing signs of Japanese encephalitis infection.

Protecting your horse

  • Rugging and hooding horses with a rug and fly mask
  • Stabling horses between dusk and dawn
  • Applying a safe insect repellent avoiding around and above the eyes. Contact your veterinarian about insect repellents that are safe for horses
  • Eliminating mosquito breeding sites on horse properties such as dripping or leaking taps and water troughs, as well as discarding objects that have the potential to hold water
  • Turning off lights inside stables during the night
  • Using fluorescent lights in stables that do not attract mosquitoes
  • Ensuring all screens and mesh at building openings are intact and any holes or tears are fully repaired
  • Using fans and if possible, fogging to eliminate mosquitoes within stables
  • Thoroughly clean your horse vehicles using a high-pressure wash to remove all organic material that may provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes

Consult your local veterinarian for further advice.

Exports and trade

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) provides certification for live animals, meat and meat products for export to overseas markets.

DAWE is working with horse exporters to ensure horses meet importing country requirements for Japanese encephalitis.


Japanese encephalitis is a notifiable disease in Queensland. If you see signs of this disease in horses or donkeys, immediately contact your veterinarian, Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23, or phone the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

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