WA Livestock Disease Outlook - for producers

Emergency animal disease contacts during the Christmas closure

The Christmas closure date for DPIRD offices are from Monday 24 December 2018 to 1 January 2019 inclusive. If you suspect an emergency animal disease (EAD) during that period, ring the EAD hotline on 1800 675 888.

In late spring, watch out for these livestock diseases

Disease Typical history and signs

Barber’s pole worm in sheep  

  • Usually seen in late spring/early summer in coastal areas of agricultural regions of WA.

  • Weaners with inadequate immunity commonly affected at this time of year.

  • Signs include sudden death, anaemia, weakness and bottle-jaw.

Annual ryegrass toxicity (ARGT)



  • Cases in grazing stock can occur as soon as there is widespread seedset in ryegrass pastures (typically from early October).

  • First cases typically occur in the southern Greenough area in September, moving south as the season progresses and as stubbles become available for grazing.

  • Signs include sudden deaths or nervous signs such as hyper-excitability, wobbly gait and convulsions.

  • Always report nervous signs in adult sheep or cattle to your private vet or DPIRD field vet, who will collect samples to exclude transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and to determine the cause to assist on-farm management and productivity.

WA Livestock Disease Outlook highlights benefits of surveillance

Australia’s ability to sell livestock and livestock products depends on evidence from our surveillance systems that we are free of livestock diseases that are reportable or affect trade. The WA livestock disease outlook – for producers summarises recent significant disease investigations by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development vets and private vets. Data from these investigations provide evidence that WA is free from these diseases and supports our continuing access to markets.

We welcome feedback. To provide comments or subscribe to the monthly email newsletter, WA livestock disease outlook, email waldo@agric.wa.gov.au.