Spotted anything unusual?


By Kaitlyn  Braine
District Veterinarian

P: 03 5881 9916 | M: 0499 339 018 | E:

Cattle with bloating

Unusual things sometimes occur with livestock. What would you do if you had an increased rate of deaths or sudden death in your livestock? How about, if you saw signs of blisters, erosions or ulcers around the mouth or feet of sheep, cattle or pigs? Or if you saw unusual lumps on the skin of cattle, unusual nervous signs in your stock, or an increased rate of abortions?

It can be difficult to determine whether an illness is due to something common or something more sinister such as an Emergency Animal Disease (EAD). An investigation by a veterinarian is the only way to know for sure.

EADs are a category of diseases that have the potential to cause a significant impact on animal health, trade, livestock production, human health and/or the environment. EADs can be:

  • A known disease that does not occur in Australia (exotic disease) such as Foot and Mouth Disease, Lumpy Skin Disease, and African Swine Fever
  • An established disease within Australia, which if it became widespread, would have a national impact such as Anthrax or Hendra virus
  • A serious infectious disease that may be entirely new or unknown

Early detection and reporting of all suspect EADs is essential in preventing the establishment and spread of disease. By reporting as soon as you suspect a notifiable pest, disease, or event, you can play a vital role in protecting livestock and preventing the disease from spreading to other animals and possibly even humans.

So, what should you do if you spot anything unusual?

To report pests and diseases in animals (including livestock, wildlife, birds, and aquatic animals) phone the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888. The EAD hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be called from anywhere in Australia, provided there is phone service.

If you are unsure if what you are seeing is unusual for your livestock, you can call your local district veterinarian first to discuss what is going on.  Even if you are unsure of whether you have seen signs of an exotic or notifiable pest or disease, you should report your concerns immediately to your District Veterinarian or via the hotline.

For more information regarding EADs contact your local District Veterinarian on 1300 795 299 or visit the NSW DPI website at and search emergency animal diseases.

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