Anthrax detected at second property in Shepparton

16 February 2024

Anthrax has been detected at second beef cattle property in the Shepparton region, following an initial detection at a neighbouring property last week.

One cow has died, while the remaining livestock are being vaccinated.

A total of ten beef cattle have died across the two properties.

Agriculture Victoria veterinarians and animal health staff are working closely with livestock owners in the region to assist with surveillance and vaccinations if necessary.

Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Graeme Cooke said the second detection was not unexpected in northern Victoria, particularly during summer, assisted by the long survival of the anthrax bacteria in soil.

‘Local farmers, veterinarians and Agriculture Victoria are well prepared to handle these incidents, with quarantine and biosecurity arrangements in place and vaccinations underway for potentially exposed livestock,’ Dr Cooke said.

Anthrax is not a concern for the public:

Farmers are urged to report any cases of unexplained deaths to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888, to your local vet, or to Agriculture Victoria animal health staff on 136 186.

Anthrax has occurred intermittently in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland in recent decades. In Victoria this is often in northern areas of the state, but historically it has been recorded across all of the state in farming areas. The last detection of anthrax in Victoria was in sheep in February 2022, near Swan Hill.

An Anthrax factsheet on the Agriculture Victoria website is available answering frequently asked questions and providing more information.

Media contact: Maida Anderson

Phone: 0431 626 178