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

  • Lupinosis is a liver disease mainly caused by the consumption of lupin stalks colonised by the fungus Diaporthe toxica. It can be expressed as either a severe acute disease or as a chronic

  • The following procedure is designed to aid veterinarians when taking histopathology samples for livestock post-mortems.

  • 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.

  • Brucellosis is an economically important bacterial disease of animals that can also affect people.

  • Barber's pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is a potentially harmful roundworm parasite of sheep which can cause a disease called haemonchosis.

  • Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is normally produced by bacteria in the rumen of cattle and sheep on well-balanced roughage diets.

  • Western Australia has a reputation for producing healthy livestock free from diseases and residues that could harm human health or damage our ability to sell livestock within Australia or overseas.

  • Annual ryegrass toxicity (ARGT) is an often fatal poisoning of livestock that consume annual ryegrass infected by the bacterium Rathayibacter toxicus (formerly known as Clavibacter tox

  • Western Australia is free of most of the significant diseases that affect animals in other parts of the world.

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