Farmers warning of tick increase

TWEED graziers and workers involved in transporting stock have been warned to be alert for cattle ticks because floods in Queensland has helped spread ticks there.

Regional vet with the NSW department of Industry and Investment Paul Freeman said tick numbers were on the increase in Queensland, and the North Coast cattle industry needed to be aware.

“We are witnessing a rise in cattle tick infestations in Queensland this year, and so we are urging people who bring livestock into NSW from Queensland to be on their guard,” Mr Freeman said.

“The floods in Queensland are likely to contribute to a spread of ticks in that State, so it is vitally important that trans- porters meet the strict movement regulations when bringing cattle, horses or other livestock into NSW.”

However the warning reminded Tweed Combined Rural Industries Association president Col Brooks of advice he said farmers had given to the NSW Government in recent years that floods spread ticks.

“They refused to accept that,” he said. “The farmers here for years have said floods spread ticks.

“It’s certainly been an ideal season for ticks to spread.”

Mr Brooks said the biggest

hurdle in keeping farmers alert to the spread of ticks was actually the NSW Government’s secrecy when a tick outbreak occurs.

“All the secrecy about tick outbreaks has got to stop,” he said.

“The whole thing has got to be more open.

“If you are alerted about someone in your area having an outbreak of ticks you are more alert.

“The bottom line is producers on the Tweed have not got a clue about what’s going on with outbreaks or where the outbreaks are.”

Mr Freeman said producers who bring in Queensland livestock should keep them in a holding paddock for a week or two before allowing them access to their entire property.

“That way the animals can be monitored for ticks, and if cattle ticks are found then the entire property is not quarantined – just the holding paddock.”

Mr Freeman said late summer and autumn was the peak period for cattle tick activity on the North Coast.

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