News

NSW DPI urges farmers to vaccinate livestock

By Rodney Woods

NSW DPI and Local Land Services are urging producers to vaccinate their livestock following confirmation of the first case of anthrax in 2020.

The detection occurred in the Central Tablelands on a property with no previous record of anthrax.

The affected animals were ewes that had not been vaccinated for anthrax.

Biosecurity measures at the affected property, including stock movement restrictions and the vaccination of remaining livestock, were immediately imposed.

NSW DPI senior veterinary officer Graham Bailey said while there were no general public health risks or trade implications from the detection, it served as a timely reminder.

“Drought conditions create a favourable environment for anthrax infections, so producers should consider vaccination to protect their livestock,” Dr Bailey said.

“Ingestion of soil by sheep, cattle and other ruminants is one of the key risk factors for anthrax, which is why drought conditions increase the risk.

“Cases of anthrax in NSW tend to occur in an area which runs through the centre of the state, between Bourke and Moree in the north, to Albury and Deniliquin in the south.

“Anthrax can be prevented by annual vaccination of cattle and sheep.

“Producers in high risk locations are encouraged to consider vaccination.”

Other risk factors include a history of anthrax on the property, grazing stubble or very short pastures, low ground cover, deep cultivation or earthworks in paddocks, soil movement or exposure as a result of rain, contact with infected carcases and alkaline soils which favour spore survival.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services district veterinarian Amy Masters said those wishing to vaccinate can apply to their Local Land Services district vet.

For more information about preventing anthrax, visit: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/ or call Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.