Vets urge producers to vaccinate following anthrax detection

A case of anthrax has been confirmed on a Central Tablelands property with no previous history. Photo: FILE
A case of anthrax has been confirmed on a Central Tablelands property with no previous history. Photo: FILE

Producers are being urged to vaccinate their livestock against anthrax after a confirmed case on a Central Tablelands property with no previous history.

Affected ewes on the property had not been vaccinated forcing NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services to renew their calls for producers to uptake preventative measures.

It comes 12 months after350 sheep died on a property near Nyngan and several reported cases were revealed throughout Queensland in recent years.

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the disturbance of a soil-borne bacteria and can kill sheep, cattle, horses, pigs and other livestock instantly.

DPI Senior Veterinary Officer, Dr Graham Bailey said while there are no general public health risks or trade implications from the detection it served as a timely reminder.

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"Drought conditions create a favourable environment for anthrax infections so producers should consider vaccination to protect their livestock," Dr Bailey said.

"Ingestion of soil by sheep, cattle and other ruminants is one of the key risk factors for anthrax, which is why drought conditions increase the risk."

Recent research identified the 'anthrax belt' runs through the centre of the state, between Bourke and Moree in the north, to Albury and Deniliquin in the south.

"Anthrax can be prevented by annual vaccination of cattle and sheep. Producers in high risk locations are encouraged to consider vaccination," Br Bailey said.

Those wishing to vaccinate can apply to their Local Land Services district veterinarian.

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