26 September 2023

Vets urge farmers to vaccinate

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The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has warned producers to vaccinate their livestock after the discovery of a case of anthrax on a Central Tablelands property.

Senior Veterinary Officer at DPI, Graham Bailey said the detection had occurred on a property with no previous record of anthrax.

“The affected animals were ewes that had not been vaccinated for anthrax,” Dr Bailey said.

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

Dr Bailey said that while there was 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,” he said.

“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.”

He said producers in high-risk locations were encouraged to consider annual vaccination.

Dr Bailey said other risk factors for anthrax included: 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 carcasses; and alkaline soils which favour spore survival.

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