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Keep stock safe and vaccinate

Upper Hunter producers are continuing to lose stock from clostridial diseases.

Blackleg, Pulpy kidney (Enterotoxaemia), Black disease, Tetanus and Malignant oedema are all potentially fatal diseases due to bacteria belonging to the clostridial family.

District Veterinarian for Hunter Local Land Services, Lyndell Stone, says, 'The most common clostridial diseases in this district are Blackleg, Pulpy kidney and Tetanus. Recent cases have caused losses of up to ten head.'

These diseases can be easily prevented by vaccinating stock with a 5 in 1 vaccine.  A 7 in 1 vaccine is also available which provides protection for cattle against clostridial diseases and Leptospirosis. This can cause infertility in cattle and be transmitted to humans.

Lyndell adds, 'All lambs and calves require two vaccinations four to six weeks apart from eight weeks of age.  The first vaccination is a priming dose and only provides short term immunity against the diseases.  The second dose provides the long term immunity that your stock will need, in addition to annual booster vaccinations.'

In some situations more frequent vaccinations are required. Supplementary and changed feeding regimes, such as moving your stock from pasture feeding to grain feeding due to dry conditions, can lead to stock death from Pulpy kidney.

'Stock affected by clostridial diseases usually die suddenly with few warning signs. An animal may appear fine one day and be found dead the next morning', says Lyndell.  'Carcasses often appear bloated and decompose quickly. It is much more cost effective to vaccinate rather than to accept losses from clostridial diseases.'

Vaccinations can be purchased from your local agribusiness and are less than 50 cents each for cattle and less than 30 cents each for sheep.  

Your local District Vet can be contacted for further advice on vaccinating programmes and a management plan for stock diseases.

Go to for contact details of the District Vet in your area, or contact Lyndell Stone on (02) 6545 1311.



Media contact: Hunter Local Land Services Education Officer, Claire Hewitt

Phone: (02) 6542 4428 | Mobile: 0409 636 765