Opinion

Cattle ticks: Letter to the editor – Dr Allison Crook, Biosecurity Qld

Dr Allison Crook, August 2, 2018

I am writing in response to the recent articles in BeefCentral regarding the new cattle tick treatment arrangements in Queensland.

 Let me be clear – cattle moving to a property in the cattle tick free zone (other than a meat processing facility or feedlot) from the cattle tick infested zone must be inspected and chemically treated by an accredited certifier. This is exactly the same as the previous Third Party Provider (TPP) system.

With the introduction of the new cattle tick management framework in 2016, the TPP system was expanded to allow the inspection and treatment regime to be completed at places other than the traditional “clearing dips” on the tick line.

If a producer chooses to use their own facilities to clear livestock, strict protocols must be followed to ensure the accredited certifier can appropriately inspect and treat the cattle.

Treatments used on property can include pour on and/or injectable products in addition to the traditional plunge dip chemicals.

Like the TPP system, the current accredited certifier system is backed by a rigorous training program. Certifiers are audited yearly to ensure the system is working.

Individual property owners are responsible for managing their biosecurity risks.

This includes cattle ticks, which should be treated the same as any other disease risk that cattle producers face. If a producer is purchasing cattle from high risk areas, they should take all reasonable and practical steps to ensure that they don’t bring in unwanted biosecurity risks that may adversely impact their business. This is not just good biosecurity practice, it is common sense.

As part of a producer’s Biosecurity Plan, isolating new introductions to a property is a key step in mitigating risks. Vaccinations and worming treatments should be considered to mitigate against diseases and other parasites.

At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest the recent outbreak near Wandoan has been caused by movements of cattle from the Dalby sale yards. Investigations are ongoing and involve tracing hundreds of cattle that have come from all over the state over an extended period.

Dr Allison Crook

General Manager, Animal Biosecurity

Biosecurity Queensland

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Comments

  1. John Gunthorpe, August 3, 2018

    In the study for MLA examining the cost to industry of 17 endemic diseases cattle produces face, the cattle tick was at the top of the list as causing the most impact on cattle production costs. Its annual cost was estimated at $190 million. Conversely bovine Johne’s disease was at the bottom of the list with an estimated annual cost to production of only $300,000 in Northern Australia and $2.7 million nationally. Why then did Queensland’s CVO send out 280 quarantine notices inflicting stress and financial ruin on Queensland cattle producers enforcing the Protection Zone Policy recommended by AgForce and supported by Cattle Council?
    Tom is right. It is time cattle producers called the Queensland government to count for this appalling blight on our industry. The then Deputy Premier promised compensation to those impacted by the attempt to eradicate BJD but nothing has been paid and we are left to fight through the courts for a fair compensation payment to meet their financial loss. Unfortunately the stress caused to their families can never be repaired.
    To deregulate the management of the tick controls in like manner to the deregulation of the management of BJD would seem to be fool hardy. Reasons for the outbreak of the ticks in the tick free zone must be published as soon as possible. If it was due to the deregulation of management of the disease then steps must be taken to re-regulate and return the management of stock movements to the government inspectors as in the past 100 years.
    Australian Cattle Industry Council

  2. Russell Pearson, August 3, 2018

    Over 220,000 people on the public payroll costing over $650,000,000 per week and stock inspectors being phased out ?

  3. Tom campbell, August 3, 2018

    Go back to the clearing dips run by Stock Inspectors it worked for 100 years in Wandoan and Taroom. There has been to much time and money spent clearing up country to lose it all now over all the crap we have to go thru. BJD quaranntine was a total disaster costing Cattle Producers millions of dollars. All we are doing is letting Government of the hook.

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