Biosecurity Queensland – a service of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation – is the agency responsible for protecting Queensland’s primary industries, environment and way of life. Visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au for further information.
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Disease reporting plays an important role in the early detection of serious diseases and underpins the enviable 'disease-free' status of Queensland's exports of livestock and livestock products. Information on occurrences of some endemic diseases is also important even though the government may not be directly involved with their diagnosis, treatment or management.
Biosecurity Queensland needs information about the occurrence of certain diseases of animals for a number of reasons including eradication, information for disease certification of livestock for export, for use by human health authorities (zoonoses), ensuring eradicated diseases are not recurring and monitoring of endemic disease prevalence. The list of notifiable diseases changes from time to time. The Stock Regulation 1988 (www.legislation.qld.gov.au) Schedule 6 (Notifiable Diseases) (page 55) should be consulted for the current list of notifiable diseases.
Notifiable diseases should be reported to your local Biosecurity Queensland veterinary officer, Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or the Emergency Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888.
Wondering what to do with wobbly cattle?
Have you got clients with cattle with neurological symptoms that are not recovering? Biosecurity Queensland is interested in their brains and the cattle industry is willing to pay both the vet and the owner for them!
The brains are tested as part of the National TSE Surveillance Program (NTSESP). This program is aimed at demonstrating our ongoing freedom from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and the related sheep disease, Scrapie, and maintaining our current favourable trading status.
Biosecurity Queensland has the task of collecting a specified surveillance quota, on behalf of industry in Queensland and needs your help to meet the target. You can assist by encouraging producers to report any cattle over 30 months of age with nervous symptoms to their local Biosecurity Queensland stock inspector or veterinary officer or, if they are not available, contact Lee Taylor on 07 49929182. Biosecurity Queensland (12 25 23) can transfer callers to their nearest Biosecurity Queensland stock inspector.
Nervous symptoms of interest include wobbly gait, falling over, recumbency and inability to get up, muscle tremors, convulsions, unusual behaviours such as excessive bellowing or teeth grinding and changes in temperament (e.g. calm to aggressive or wild to quiet). Biosecurity Queensland is also interested in cattle over 30 months of age that have died suddenly, moribund or ill with any condition where a number of these occur during husbandry procedures. Incentive payments are available for producers who report eligible cases.
Veterinarians who collect suitable samples for the NTSESP and submit them with case histories can claim a rebate of $200 for cattle and $150 for sheep. Freight costs to send samples to the laboratory are also subsidised. If you send additional samples from affected animals, the diagnostic service is provided without charge and this can be very useful to confirm your diagnosis.
Investigations conducted by Biosecurity Queensland into bovine neurological cases in the past have also uncovered a number of rare conditions e.g. genetic disorders like mannosidosis and bovine tomaculous neuropathy and infectious diseases like unilateral facial palsy syndrome.
Additional information on the program is available from Biosecurity Queensland at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/4790_15388.htm and from the Animal Health Australia website at www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au. Your assistance to identify cattle suitable for BSE sampling will ultimately benefit the cattle industry.
Queensland Health has advised that it is developing a policy on the supply of medicated stock feeds.
Enquiries regarding controls over supply of medicated stock feeds containing S4 antibiotics (only a veterinarian or pharmacist may dispense an S4 product) should be directed to Principal Advisor, Drugs, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods, Queensland Health.
Environmental Health Unit
Queensland Health Building
147 - 163 Charlotte Street
(GPO Box 48)
Brisbane Qld 4001
Phone: +61 7 3234 0938
Fax: +61 7 3234 1480