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Protect your cattle

Are you introducing stock?

  • get a National Vendor Declaration
  • ask for a national cattle health statement which  provides information about the disease status  and treatment history of the stock
  • ensure cattle are identified by a National  Livestock Identification System (NLIS) device
  • transfer cattle on the NLIS database if purchased directly from another producer. If the  cattle are purchased through a saleyard, they  will do this for you.

There are many diseases that can be introduced  "on the back of a truck" from new stock. Before  purchasing stock, you should endeavour to ascertain their health status.

Always:

  • get a National Vendor Declaration
  • ask for a national cattle health statement which provides information about the disease status and treatment history of the stock
  • ensure cattle are identified by a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) device
  • transfer cattle on the NLIS database if purchased directly from another producer. If the cattle are purchased through a saleyard, they will do this for you.

Introduced stock should be isolated from the rest of the herd for a period of 7-10 days. During this time,cattle should be monitored for any signs of disease. 

This period provides you with with the opportunity to vaccinate and drench. We recommend a 5 in 1vaccination booster and drenching on arrival.

The quarantine period also allows time for weed seeds and worm eggs to pass through their gut soyou can quickly deal with any emergence of new weed species.

Introduced cattle may bring in new diseases, butthey are also at risk from diseases already on your property. We commonly see problems with Theileria in cattle introduced from outside the coastal region.Theileriosis is caused by a small red blood cell parasite which can be spread by bush ticks. Cattle which have not previously been exposed to ticks,and hence the parasite, are at risk of:

  • anaemia
  • abortion
  • weight loss
  • death

Depending on where the cattle have come from, introduced cattle may also be at risk of insectborne diseases such as Akabane and Three Day Sickness.

Are you selling cattle?


All cattle leaving your property must be identified with an NLIS device and you should complete a National Vendor Declaration NVD). If cattle in the consignment have been treated or exposed to chemicals and are still within the withholding period, this must be declared on the NVD.

Poisonous plants

The Hunter region is home to many plant species that are toxic to stock. You should be aware of all potentially poisonous plants on your property.  If you are agisting cattle, you should determine whether there are any poisonous plants on the agistment property.

Hungry cattle introduced to unfamiliar plants are particularly susceptible to plant poisonings. Some of the common toxic plants we see in the Hunter region are:

  • Bracken Fern (Pteridium esculentum)
  • Rock fern
  • Lantana
  • Green Cestrum (Cestrum parqui)
  • Mother of Millions (Bryophyllum delagoense)
  • Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis)
  • Cycads
  • Paterson's curse (Echium plantagineum)
  • Heliotrope

Vaccinations

Prevention is often much better than treatment and there are many vaccines available for cattle. These should be
regarded as an insurance policy by preventing disease from occurring.

A vaccination program should be an integral part of your farm biosecurity plan. For some vaccines, the decision is a simple one:

5 in 1 vaccine protects against the Clostridial diseases including:

  • Blackleg
  • Tetanus
  • Pulpy Kidney
  • Black Disease
  • Malignant Oedema

Two common diseases causing deaths are blackleg and pulpy kidney. These are easily prevented.

Blackleg in particular is a common cause of death in young cattle in the Hunter region. The vaccine is relatively inexpensive, very effective and should be part of routine stock management.

7 in 1 vaccine consists of 5 in 1 vaccine plus protection of 2 strains of leptospirosis. Humans can also be infected with leptospirosis so this vaccine helps protect your health, the health of your workers and your cattle.

Vibriosis is a common cause of reproductive failure in cattle. We recommend vaccinating all bulls against vibriosis.

Legal Stock feeds – Prevention of Emergency Animal Diseases

In order to prevent foot and mouth disease it is illegal to feed meat and meat by-products (swill) in Australia.
It is also illegal to feed animal material such as meat or bone meal, fish or feather meals to ruminants to prevent 
Mad Cow Disease from entering Australia. Ensure that products containing restricted animal material, such as pig and poultry feed, are not fed to ruminants. If you suspect a serious or unusual disease affecting your livestock contact your Hunter LLS vet or the 24 hour emergency animal disease hotline on 1800 675 888.

We're here to help - just ask

Contact your nearest Hunter LLS office and speak to our staff who can provide advice to assist you to minimise the risk of health issues in your livestock.

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