Statement from Chief Veterinary Officer and Chief Health Officer
6 March 2017
Agriculture Victoria veterinarians and animal health staff have been responding to a positive case of anthrax on a property near Swan Hill where a number of sheep have died suddenly. Anthrax has been identified as the cause of death in at least one of these sheep.
Anthrax is caused by a naturally occurring bacteria that is known to occur in the soil in parts of Northern Victoria. It is not unusual for incidents of anthrax to be detected in cattle and sheep in the region.
Incidents commonly occur during the warmer months
when it's drier and the cattle and sheep forage deeper into the soil when
Local farmers, veterinarians and Agriculture Victoria are well prepared to handle these incidents. This includes strict quarantine and biosecurity arrangements, the vaccination of potentially exposed stock and the destruction of the affected animals.
Anthrax is not a concern for the public
- Anthrax does not spread rapidly and is not contagious.
- There is no general public health risk associated with anthrax.
- The risk is confined to people who handle dead livestock such as farmers, veterinarians and knackery workers.
- As a precaution, people from the affected farm are being offered testing.
- There is no impact on local produce or food safety.
The property has been quarantined and there is no further movement restrictions on people or vehicles (including school bus routes).
Farmers are urged to report any cases of unexplained deaths to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, to your local vet or to Agriculture Victoria animal health staff.
Further information can be found:
Categorised under: Biosecurity,Agriculture