Facial Eczema Alert in Australia

AUSTRALIA - Dairy farmers are urged to act immediately to prevent facial eczema in their herds, with current and forecast weather conditions putting cows at risk. The recommended action is to either monitor spore counts on farm paddocks weekly or begin preventative strategies such as zinc supplementation if this isn’t already in place.
calendar icon 14 February 2012
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Dairy Australia’s Feed2Milk program leader, Dr Steve Little said during the past week, the facial eczema spore monitoring programme had detected increasing pasture toxicity levels across Gippsland. View facial eczema spore monitoring programme.

“The average spore count is now more than 20,000 spores per gram which is the trigger level for farmers to take action,” Dr Little said. Continued exposure of animals to pasture containing more than 20,000 spores per gram of pasture can result in liver damage for which there is no specific treatment.

“The greatest cost of facial eczema to dairy farmers is from the 80 per cent of cows with liver damage but no skin lesions. These cows will have lower milk production and fertility,” Dr Little said.

Dairy Australia introduced a spore monitoring programme this summer/autumn, prompted by a widespread outbreak across Gippsland last season, with the likelihood of favourable conditions again this year.

Dairy Australia’s website has the latest spore monitoring results and information on preventing facial eczema. Visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au/facialeczema or contact Steve Little on 0400 004 841 or email [email protected]

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