Sudden deaths ... could it be anthrax?


By Linda Seale
District Veterinarian

P: 03 5881 9919 | M: 0427 629 740 | E:

Map of NSW showing anthrax zoneIn late January, anthrax was detected in an unvaccinated mob of ewes and lambs on a Central West NSW property. The property had a history of anthrax in livestock in the past.

Many properties in the Murray region have a history of anthrax. The ‘anthrax belt’, which is an area through NSW where a lot of historical cases have been diagnosed, stretches all the way from Deniliquin to Albury.

Usually, the first sign of the disease is the sudden death of livestock. Any sudden deaths should be investigated by a district or private vet to rule out anthrax as the cause. A simple carcass-side test performed by your vet can provide a preliminary result in as little as 15 minutes.

A vaccine to protect livestock is available, especially for properties with a known previous history of anthrax. If you wish to vaccinate your stock, you can apply to your Local Land Services vet for a permit that will allow you to order vaccine through your rural supplier or private veterinarian.

For further information on anthrax or assistance with assessing the risk of anthrax, including historical cases on your property, please contact your district vet in Albury 02 6051 2200, Holbrook 0439 078 989 or Deniliquin 03 5881 9900.

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