Australia sees new disease outbreak in cattle

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Queensland has protected zone status for BJD
Queensland has protected zone status for BJD

Related tags Epidemiology Beef Livestock

Another outbreak of bovine johne’s disease (BJD) has been reported in Australia.

The country’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said that a cattle herd in Central Queensland had tested positive during ongoing monitoring for the disease following an outbreak at a stud outside Rockhampton in November 2012.

“Biosecurity Queensland has identified properties that received cattle from this latest property and will be contacting owners this week to put any necessary movement restrictions in place,”​ he said.

However, he added that the chance of the disease spreading was lower than the previous outbreak, because it was a commercial cattle herd rather than a stud.

“In addition, we believe the majority of the cattle affected in this case would already have been sent to slaughter so this will also reduce impacts,”​ he explained.

The region’s chief veterinary officer Rick Symons said that around 40 farms could have received cattle from the affected property, and would be contacted so their animals could be tested.

“As with previous cases, we would urge affected producers not to dispose of any suspected animals before discussing their situation with Biosecurity Queensland,” he said. “Disposing of animals without appropriate testing can greatly prolong movement restrictions.”

Until last year’s outbreak, Queensland had a very low prevalence of BJD, which causes chronic diarrhoea and sometimes death in cattle, and the state has so far maintained its protected zone status for the disease.

The Australian government launched a AU$5m fund in January 2013 to support Queensland cattle farmers affected by the outbreak, which has resulted in widespread movement restrictions in the state.

Related topics Meat

Related news