Bluetongue virus is on agenda at Victorian meeting this week

Sheep Central, December 11, 2017

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne

VICTORIA’S chief veterinary officer Dr Charles Milne will outline the recent lifting of the temporary Bluetongue virus zone in northern Victoria at a community meeting on December 13.

The temporary BTV zone was lifted on Wednesday last week after extensive testing for Bluetongue virus in cattle around Echuca demonstrated that past exposure of cattle to the virus through local transmission had occurred in only a small number of animals.

Agriculture Victoria said last week the implications of the testing have been comprehensively reviewed with the conclusion that the temporary BTV zone could be lifted. The decision followed extensive consideration by Victoria and the national Animal Health Committee, which comprises representatives from the Commonwealth and states and territories.

The temporary zone was established after pre-export laboratory tests found that a number of dairy heifers on a property south of Echuca had been exposed to the virus.

Victoria’s chief veterinary officer, Dr Charles Milne, said more than 2500 dairy and beef cattle across 103 herds had been sampled in response to the detection, as well as other animals within a five-kilometre zone of where evidence of exposure to the virus was first found.

“Our investigation has shown that the animals that triggered the surveillance came from the recognised BTV transmission zone in New South Wales.”

Dr Milne will speak at the community meeting at the Lockington Recreation Reserve on December 13 from 7-8pm. He will give a presentation about the current situation and actions going forward, Agriculture Victoria said.

Source: Agriculture Victoria.


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