Flood and Illness in Bowen and Burdekin

AUSTRALIA - Three-day sickness is beginning to hit flood-ravaged herds in the Bowen and Burdekin districts.
calendar icon 19 February 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) beef extension officer Alan Laing said the water-logged conditions were perfect breeding grounds for biting insects that could spread the viral disease, also known as ephemeral fever.

Mr Laing said animals that had been vaccinated in the lead up to the wet season would have the greatest chance of withstanding the disease.

"Animals in North Queensland should be vaccinated in September, so this is a timely reminder of what can happen and why vaccination is so important," Mr Laing said.

Three-day sickness usually affects stock for about three days. It causes high fever and joint inflammation. Animals are reluctant to get on their feet and are visually stiff when they attempt to walk.

When cattle are down, provision of feed, water and shade is important for their recovery but a decision on euthanasia should be made early to avoid any suffering.

For animals aged 30 months or older, which are to be euthanised, stockowners should contact a DPI&F Biosecurity Queensland officer or private veterinarian to collect a brain sample. A payment of $150 is available for brain samples which are collected for testing to verify Australia's freedom from Mad Cow Disease.

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