Tick threat in ‘tick free’ zone

Tick threat in ‘tick free’ zone

16 Mar, 2011 02:02 PM
CATTLE producers in central western Queensland are advised to monitor their livestock for cattle ticks and be alert for symptoms of tick fever.

Ticks have recently been found on cattle at five properties in the central west ‘tick free’ zone and Biosecurity Queensland officers are working with producers to manage the problem.

Biosecurity Queensland Principal Policy Officer Malcolm MacLeod said it was the first time cattle ticks had been discovered in the area since the early 1980s and the unusually wet conditions were a contributing factor.

“Ticks love a good wet season and this year conditions in the central west have been particularly favourable for parasites of all kinds,” Mr MacLeod said.

“Cattle ticks are a significant economic pest of the Queensland cattle industry and heavy cattle tick infestation can cause loss of condition and even death.

“The ticks can also carry and transmit tick fever organisms, which again, can cause illness and death in cattle.

“Producers must notify Biosecurity Queensland when they find cattle ticks outside the Queensland cattle tick infected zone.”

Mr MacLeod said Biosecurity Queensland officers were tracing the movements of tick infested stock to learn the extent of the problem and determine the origin of the outbreak.

“Producers must ensure all stock leaving infested properties are inspected for ticks by a Biosecurity Queensland officer,” he said.

“Control of cattle tick is a shared responsibility and we encourage producers to be particularly vigilant and to work cooperatively with our officers and their neighbours.

“No cases of tick fever have been reported at this time, but producers are urged to be on the lookout for the signs of the disease.”

Signs of tick fever include depression, weakness, jaundice, increased temperatures and staggering.

To report suspected cattle ticks found in the tick free zone, call 13 25 23.