Call to vaccinate NSW livestock against anthrax

Sheep Central, October 24, 2022

For the last 50 years almost all cases of anthrax in NSW have occurred within the highlighted region. Image – NSW DPI.

NEW South Wales livestock producers across a large part of the state have been urged to vaccinate their stock against anthrax.

Livestock producers who manage properties where anthrax has previously occurred, including areas bordered by Bourke and Moree to Albury and Deniliquin in the south, have been reminded to vaccinate their cattle and sheep against the disease.

NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services today advised annual vaccination for livestock on these high-risk properties, includes for stock on properties close to where anthrax has been detected previously.

NSW DPI senior veterinary officer, Amanda Walker, said anthrax is unpredictable as it can lie dormant in the soil for decades.

“Farmers should contact their LLS district vet to obtain advice specific for their properties.

“Anthrax is a serious disease that can kill stock of any age or class with no warning. Vaccination prevents anthrax from occurring and helps break the cycle of spore production,” Dr Walker said.

“If vaccination is continued over time, spores in the environment will die, reducing the risk of anthrax occurring in the future.”

LLS state veterinarian, Scott Ison, said farmers can apply to use the vaccine through their LLS district veterinarian.

“Once the vaccine has been authorised, farmers can place an order with their local rural supplier or private veterinarian.

“Anthrax disease is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and affected stock often show few or no signs of ill health before they die,” Dr Ison said.

“Farmers should suspect anthrax if animals die suddenly, as in many cases there may be no signs and the disease may begin with the sporadic deaths of single animals over a few days before building to dramatic losses in a very short time.”

Anthrax is listed as prohibited matter under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 and is a notifiable disease in NSW.

Anyone who suspects anthrax must report it immediately by calling the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline, 1800 675 888.

More information about preventing anthrax is available on the NSW DPI website or by calling Local Land Services, 1300 795 299.

Source: NSW DPI.


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