In December the North Coast LHPA carried out 38 property visits and answered 102 animal health phone enquiries. The Authority attended 16 cattle sales and signed 45 export, property or movement certificates. Media releases included buffalo fly and blue green algae. Assistance was given for a producer survey being done on Theileriosis and in the development of a Hendra flowchart for private vets.
Significant disease testing
Significant disease testing in this period included Hendra (4), Bovine Johnes Disease (9), and Theileria (7). One animal was found positive for Bovine Johnes Disease. Three cases of Theileriosis were diagnosed in Cudgera Creek, Brooklana and Dorrigo. All other testing was negative.
Theileria is an emerging disease from bush ticks. More information found at:
Make sure you report any unusual symptoms in your livestock. Exotic or emerging livestock disease can severely damage trade, human health, your production and many parts of the economy. Effective surveillance for notifiable diseases is essential. If you suspect a notifiable disease contact your local LHPA office or the Emergency Disease Hotline 1800 675 888. More information:
Heavy numbers of buffalo fly are being reported and large numbers of ear tags being bought from rural stores. Consider carefully what products or methods work best for you. Cost, safety for you and the cattle, ease of application and previous product use on your property are important factors to consider. Ear tags put in now need to be removed in May to avoid resistance problems. If you want some unbiased advice contact an LHPA office.
3 day sickness
There have been some clinical reports of possible 3 day sickness but no positive laboratory results reported as of 18/1/2010. Consider 3 day sickness in down cattle over next few months. At the moment you can still have free tests covered by the Government to establish the first cases for the region. Please contact your private vet or LHPA if you have down cattle and you suspect 3 day sickness.
Worm Alert Small Ruminants and Alpacas
Be alert for possibility of severe barber’s pole outbreaks in goats, sheep and alpaca following recent rains and hot weather after dry period. Prevention relies on reducing pasture contamination and worm pick up. Do not set stock in one paddock. Consider also pasture management to ensure that feed is not grazed too low, rotating paddocks that sheep or goats graze with cattle, supplementary feed (hay in racks is preferable) to reduce reliance on pasture. Drench in late spring to minimise pasture contamination and prevent build up of worm numbers early in the worms’ season. Other drenching will also be needed as advised. Good general nutrition is important for a strong immune system and resilience against worms. A program must not rely on drenching alone. Because of its ability to recontaminate pasture very quickly, drenching frequently in the face of high pasture contamination is doomed to fail. Resistance has now developed to most if not all the drench groups. Drenching frequently only hastens this. Monitoring for barbers pole worm by FECs and the new Haemonchus dipstick test kit is recommended for all sheep, goat and alpaca producers on the North Coast. The FEC kits can be ordered from the EMAI laboratory or LHPA office and the dipstick kits through rural stores. You can seek further advice from the LHPA for a worm control program and use of monitoring tools.
Much of the North Coast is deficient in Selenium and Copper. For example, in December selenium and copper deficiency was detected at Clarenza and a disease from copper deficiency called enzootic ataxia was diagnosed last month in a young Murwillumbah goat. However care must be taken in giving copper supplementation to sheep and goats. Overdosage can lead to copper toxicity and death. The dosages suggested in some books are too high. It is safest to get a vet to test stock first and if deficiency confirmed use slow release products. The North Coast LHPA is interested in making a map that better defines copper and selenium deficient areas of the North Coast. If you have any data please contact Keith Newby in the Grafton office.
Pestivirus, Pneumonia and Farm Biosecuirty
Pestivirus can cause a range of problems in cattle herds. It can cause illthrift in calves, fertility problems, abortion and encourage disease such as pneumonia. In December pneumonia in pasture based animals occurred in Cudgera Creek and Rosebank. Mucosal disease caused by pestivirus was diagnosed in Bangalow. If you suspect pestivirus is causing problems in your herd testing and control programs such as vaccination are available. Take care when introducing new animals and maintain good fencing. Most disease arrives on the back of a truck or over the neighbours fence. Make your farm have good biosecurity. If you want help thinking about biosecurity see:
http://www.farmbiosecurity.com.au/ or contact your local LHPA office.
Vibriosis was once again diagnosed in unvaccinated herds in Casino and Grafton regions. Vibriosis remains one of the most common causes of infertility on North Coast because of a continued poor uptake of vaccination. Bulls need to be vaccinated twice 4-6 weeks before they enter breeding herds and then a booster every 12months. Herd testing can be done easily on vaginal mucous by a vet if you are having a poor calving rate or notice cattle returning to heat.
A syndrome where older beef calves develop severe swelling on front and back leg joints is seen from time to time on the North Coast. For example it was seen in Caniaba in December. The most common cause of this is from a germ called Mycoplasma. Some calves can have long term problems. Early detection is needed to give prescribed antibiotics the best chance to help. Inspect your stock daily.
What do we do?
The district veterinarians and rangers of the North Coast LHPA are the region’s frontline field service for the NSW Government’s Animal Health System. The team’s activities are defined by legislation and aim to protect and enhance human health, market access, livestock production, the environment and animal welfare. Their activities are essential to make sure we have markets to sell our stock to and ensure that livestock and their products are safe to use. In addition the team remains prepared for any emergency disease outbreaks such as Foot and Mouth Disease.
T his team is available to provide a free diagnostic service for significant livestock disease. They do not provide treatments for animals or do activities normally done by private veterinarians. People commonly use their local district veterinarian for a post mortem on unexplained stock deaths or to investigate herd disease. There are no charges from the LHPA for these services. If testing is necessary for a diagnosis there are some fees from the NSW Government laboratory. The animal health team can also provide advice on any livestock health matters including things such as animal husbandry, disease prevention and regulations such as the National Livestock Identification Scheme Information on regional disease trends is released by the LHPA and health certificates are issued for stock movements and properties. The team often has a presence at saleyards, field days, shows and schools.
If you would like to receive livestock health news from the North Coast LHPA by email simply send an email address to [email protected]. In your email indicate your main interest such as beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, alpaca or wildlife.
The LHPA is always interested to hear what you have to report about livestock disease. Further information on livestock diseases can be found at: