Nutrition & Animal Health

Victoria vaccinates thousands of sheep and cattle for anthrax

Terry Sim, February 26, 2024

ABOUT 6000 cattle and sheep have been vaccinated against anthrax in Victoria’s Shepparton region after the disease was detected at two farms.

Agriculture Victoria said it is continuing to vaccinate livestock at properties in the Shepparton region, with private veterinarians working alongside the agency’s animal health team.

No further cases of anthrax have been detected, Agriculture Victoria reported this morning.

Victoria’s chief veterinary officer Dr Graeme Cooke encouraged farmers in the region to continue to monitor the health of their livestock and report any sudden deaths.

“Early reporting ensures we can effectively respond to any suspected cases of anthrax and put measures in place to limit the risk of spread.

“You must report any cases of unexplained deaths where anthrax is suspected to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888, to your local vet, or to Agriculture Victoria animal health staff on 136 186,” Dr Cooke said.

Dr Cooke also praised the efforts of landholders and vets for supporting the vaccination and surveillance efforts so far.

“Undertaking a vaccination program of this size requires a lot of cooperation and people on the ground working under careful biosecurity protocols.

“Vaccination is a crucial part of an effective response to anthrax, and Agriculture Victoria maintains a ready supply of vaccines for this purpose,” he said.

“Significant progress has been made so far and will continue until all quarantine controls have been lifted,” Dr Cooke said.

Anthrax occurs occasionally in northern Victoria, most often during the warmer months. If livestock on your property die suddenly, anthrax could potentially be the cause, Agriculture Victoria said.

It is critically important that the carcasses of cattle and sheep that die suddenly without an obvious cause are tested for anthrax by Agriculture Victoria or a private veterinarian before they are moved, to reduce the risk of disease spread and prevent a large-scale anthrax incident, the agency said.

An anthrax fact sheet on the Agriculture Victoria website is available answering frequently asked questions and providing more information.

Source – Agriculture Victoria


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