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Johne's Quarantine Covers 158 Queensland Farms

03 December 2012

AUSTRALIA - Queensland's Minister for Agriculture, John McVeigh, has met in Rockhampton with AgForce, the Cattle Council, the Australian Brahman Breeders' Association, agents and landowners to discuss the Bovine Johne's Disease outbreak in central Queensland, reports ABC Rural.

The minister announced at the meeting that 158 properties are now under quarantine and animals on those properties will be tested for the disease. ABC Rrual understands the quarantine will include trade restrictions. However, animals will be able to be sent to abattoirs.

Matthew McCamely found out yesterday that his central Queensland Brahman stud is one such property.

Mr McCamely says he is unsure of what the future holds.

"Three generations of breeding have gone into these stock that we have, it's our livelihood," he said.

"We are estimating it could take approximately seven months to know if we are positive."

Howard Smith, president of AgForce cattle, raised concerns about support offered to affected landowners.

"At the moment, I don't believe there is any compensation available to the Kirk family, but that is something that we did flag with the minister.

The outbreak has come at a time when animal surveillance testing facilities in Queensland are being centralised from Toowoomba and Townsville to Brisbane.

Mr McVeigh says he wants the risk assessments and testing activities on each affected property done quickly to resolve each property's disease status as soon as possible.

"What this example shows quite clearly given that this property is near Rockhampton is that a state of the art central laboratory as we already have in place and are ramping up over the coming months at Coopers Plains is in an ideal position to provide a uniform service right across the state."

Former Biosecurity Queensland vet Ross Newman believes closing the Toowoomba and Townsville laboratories will slow down the response to outbreaks like BJD in the future.

"We had a system 20-odd years ago where there were no regional labs there was one central lab in Brisbane and the turnaround time on results processing and distribution of results was really poor compared to what we've got now...we're going to have beef producers tied up longer in quarantine and awaiting results, we're just lucky the Toowoomba is still open at time at present."

Further Reading

For more information regarding Johne's disease please click here.


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