New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinsonis urging livestock producers in the State’s North Coast region to increase vigilance for cattle ticks, following a confirmed case of tick fever in a dairy cow north of Kyogle.
“This is a timely reminder for cattle producers to tighten their farm biosecurity measures and check for cattle ticks and tick fever,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“The infected dairy cow has now been treated and Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has conducted a herd examination which found a light infestation of cattle tick.
“The herd is now under quarantine and treatment has commenced to ensure the ticks are properly eradicated from the property.
“DPI Regulatory officers are also investigating the movements of cattle to determine if any possibly infected animals moved to other herds, or properties.”
Tick fever is a serious disease that can only be spread by cattle ticks and additional clinical cases on the farm are unlikely now that treatment for cattle tick has commenced.
Ms Hodgkinson said during 2014 there were only two confirmed cases of tick fever in NSW involving a single animal on each occasion.
“While there were only the two known cases of tick fever, there were 93 new cattle tick infestations in NSW,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“This is why it is so important that producers remain vigilant and inspect their herds regularly and report any signs of cattle ticks.
“Every time cattle ticks are detected in NSW the herd is subject to a supervised eradication program using chemicals to kill ticks and then inspected to ensure they have been eradicated.
“Late summer and autumn is the peak period for cattle tick activity on the north coast, so it is important for livestock owners to be vigilant and check their stock for ticks now.”
Cattle tick and tick fever are notifiable diseases in NSW and producers and veterinarians are obligated to inform DPI or Local Land Services inspectors if they suspect cattle tick or tick fever.
Source: NSW Minister for Primary Industries. For more information on identifying cattle ticks visit the DPI website at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.