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