Two Far North Coast livestock owners have each been fined $550 for sending cattle tick infested cattle to market.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) regulatory staff detected the ticks on cattle at Murwillumbah and Lismore saleyards in separate incidents last month.
Regional veterinary officer with NSW DPI Paul Freeman said the most recent detection at Lismore saleyards on February 23 involved three head of cattle originating from the Mullumbimby area.
“The earlier detection at Murwillumbah saleyards on February 1 involved six head of cattle from the Tumbulgum area,” Mr Freeman said.
“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.”
Mr Freeman reminded stockowners in the north of the State 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,” he said.
“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.
“Producers have a responsibility under the Stock Diseases Act to ensure that stock infested with cattle ticks are not delivered to saleyards.”
Mr Freeman said cattle ticks were a Notifiable Disease as they can spread tick fever, which has the potential to cause serious damage to the State’s beef and dairy industries.
“We recommend a close inspection of cattle when stockowners are preparing them to go to market,” he said.
“The tail butt and the area between the animal’s back legs are where ticks are often found.”
Mr Freeman said of the 31 new cattle tick infestations that had been detected so far this season, 17 were properties adjoining known infested herds.
He said there were 82 properties infested with cattle ticks last season and most are finalising eradication programs to clear them from cattle ticks.
“I would encourage owners to check their stock and inform NSW DPI or their local Livestock Health and Pest Authority, formerly known as the Rural Lands Protection Board, if they find cattle ticks,” Mr Freeman said.
Information sheets on how to inspect cattle for ticks and how to identify cattle ticks are available from North Coast offices of NSW DPI and the Livestock Health and Pest Authority.