Livestock disease surveillance

The enviable animal health status of Western Australia’s (WA) livestock is supported by high quality, appropriate disease investigations. These investigations enable reportable diseases (those of national and trade significance) to be ruled out, or if detected, promote early and rigorous response in line with national agreements. National reporting of WA’s disease investigations and surveillance is critical to provision of evidence to support international market access.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) provides strategic disease surveillance and testing programs for nationally important diseases as required, such as mad cow disease and bluetongue virus. Fulfilling the requirements of these programs is essential to satisfy international trading partners and to ensure continued market access. In many cases, it also allows preferential access to more lucrative markets for Australian produce.

As part of the livestock disease surveillance program DAFWA supports the Department of Health in notification and control of zoonoses- diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans- and monitors wildlife health where it may intersect with animal health objectives.

Articles

  • The poultry biosecurity checklist summarises the actions needed to protect your poultry and the Western Australian poultry industry from the devastating effects of emergency diseases such as avian

  • There are multiple causes of infertility, abortion and stillbirths in cows. These include some diseases that are exotic to Western Australia and some zoonotic diseases.

  • Mastitis is the term for a bacterial infection of the udder. It is most common in ewes raising multiple lambs or with high milk production.

  • ‘Calf scours’ is when young calves develop diarrhoea and become dehydrated. The scour can be white, yellow, grey or blood-stained, and is often foul-smelling.

  • Ovine campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease of breeding ewes causing abortion in late pregnancy. It is caused by the bacteria Campylobacter fetus ssp. fetus.

  • Pulpy kidney (enterotoxaemia) is a disease of sheep, goats and cattle.

  • SheepMAP is a market assurance program designed to provide producers with a source of sheep which are at low risk of having ovine Johne's disease (OJD). The program is a voluntary scheme.

  • Pregnancy toxaemia and hypocalcaemia affect lambing ewe flocks and have similar signs but different causes.

  • Photosensitisation is inflammation of the skin, and occasionally the conjunctiva and cornea of the eye.

  • Arthritis means inflammation in one or more joints. In sheep, it is usually the result of bacterial infection.