Infested cattle stopped at saleyard

CHECKS at cattle saleyards by state government livestock inspectors have uncovered two potentially disastrous cattle tick infestations.

The discovery has prevented a possible repeat of a devastating outbreak near Murwillumbah exactly a year ago which spread, killing a dozen cows and shutting down a Burringbar dairy.

Some of the cattle found infected in the latest checks came from Tumbulgum.

Other infected animals were from the Mullumbimby area.

A NSW Department of Primary Industries spokesman yesterday said two livestock owners have each been fined $550 for sending the tick-infested cattle to market at the Murwillumbah and Lismore saleyards last month.

Regional veterinary officer with NSW DPI Paul Freeman said checks at Murwillumbah saleyards on February 1 involved six head of cattle from the Tumbulgum area.

“These cattle were clearly infested with ticks, which could easily be seen on the animals from three or four metres away,” he said.

“The properties they originated from have been placed in quarantine and the neighbouring properties are also being checked for cattle ticks.”

Three weeks later, on February 23, three tick-infested cattle from the Mullumbimby area were found at the Lismore saleyards.

Mr Freeman reminded stockowners in northern NSW to check their cattle for ticks and ensure their boundary fences were secure to stop the spread of cattle ticks.

“It is important that stockowners have good biosecurity, that is, they keep their fences in good order and they check, and possibly treat, their stock for ticks or disease before moving them to another property.

“We are in the most active part of the season for cattle ticks so it is especially important to examine stock over the coming months.”

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