Outbreak of tick fever kills 22 cattle in Australia; origin of the parasite unknown
Twenty-two cattle have been killed by tick fever in the New South Wales, Australia. Tick fever is caused by a parasite in red blood cells and the only thing that can spread tick fever is cattle ticks, reports Meat trade news daily.
As a result the NSW Department of Primary Industry considers cattle ticks (bovine anaplasmosis) to be “the most serious external parasite of cattle in Australia”.
Cattle ticks were found on the affected stock on a property at Quirindi.
NSW DPI Regional Veterinary Officer Samantha Allan says it's unusual for cattle ticks and tick fever to occur in the Tamworth region.
We had confirmation from the laboratory that we had tick fever and cattle ticks confirmed on a property south of Tamworth near Quirindi. NSW does have occasional outbreaks of cattle tick, normally up in the north-east around the north coast area so it's really unusual to get it down around Tamworth or anywhere south of there.
NSW DPI regulatory officers have quarantined the affected property.
The remaining 390 cattle on the property are being monitored for signs of the disease and will undergo a treatment program to eradicate the ticks.
Producers are being urged check their herds for cattle ticks and tick fever symptoms.
Cattle can look off colour, they have a fever for a few days, then they progress to severe weakness, a reluctance to move and you may notice they have dark red urine and that's when you can start to have deaths in the herd.
Stockowners who suspect their stock have cattle ticks or tick fever should contact NSW DPI at Wollongbar on 6626 1201, their private veterinarian, their local LHPA office or the emergency animal disease watch hotline on 1800 675 888”.
Ms Allan says it's too early to say where the cattle may have picked up the ticks or where they may have been moved from.´
According to the Queensland web-site tick fever or red water is an important disease of cattle, and up to 7 million animals in northern and eastern parts of Australia are potentially at risk. Tick fever vaccines are the most reliable and practical tools for long-term control of the disease, and are manufactured by our Tick Fever Centre.