Be on the lookout for unusual signs in livestock

The North Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarian team have provided advice to livestock producers to monitor their stock for unusual signs or disease.

Phil Carter, District Veterinarian, said, “We encourage livestock producers to keep an eye out for signs such as a higher than usual rate of deaths or illnesses, animals that appear sick and are drooling or lame, animals with lots of skin lumps.”

One such producer in the North Coast region recently notified their district vet immediately when they noticed a large number of skin lumps in a large proportion of their cattle herd, with some animals appearing unwell.

The district vet attended immediately and examined and sampled animals for exclusion of lumpy skin disease. This disease was ruled out by laboratory testing, but further testing showed the disease to be pseudolumpy skin disease, an insect-spread disease caused by a herpesvirus already present in Australia.

Phil continued, “This is exactly what we want to happen: for producers to be on the alert for unusual signs or diseases and to report them immediately.

“In the event of an emergency animal disease, such as lumpy skin disease or foot and mouth, the sooner we detect it, the sooner we can put measures in place to eradicate it before it spreads too far.”

To report suspicious illnesses, call your Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299 or your district vet directly during normal working hours. Outside of normal working hours, please don’t put it off but report it immediately to the Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 – that is what they are there for.

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