Diseases

Diseases have a detrimental effect on plants and animals and impact on market access and agricultural production. Diseases include micro-organisms, disease agents (bacteria, fungi and viruses), infectious agents, parasites and genetic disorders.

Western Australia is free from some of the world's major agricultural and livestock diseases. Biosecurity measures on your property are vital in preventing the spread of diseases.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development provides:

  • biosecurity/quarantine measures at the WA border to prevent the entry of plant and animal diseases
  • post border biosecurity measures for harmful animal and plant diseases
  • advice on widespread diseases present in the state.

For advice on animal and plant diseases search our website, the Western Australian Organism List or contact our Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS).

For diagnostic services, please contact our Diagnostic Laboratory Services.

Articles

  • The impact of parasites on sheep can range from being virtually undetectable, through to obvious clinical signs or even death.

  • Sheep farmers can save money and time eradicating new lice infestations by taking simple biosecurity measures that become part of normal management programs.

  • Itch mites are small, barely visible parasites of sheep; they live on the skin surface and cause rubbing and fleece chewing in a small proportion of infested animals.

  • A summer drenching program for sheep worm control is now recognised as a key cause of drench resistance in Western Australia.

  • Gastro-intestinal worm infections in sheep are a major cause of lost productivity to the Western Australian (WA) sheep industry and control has become more complex due to widespread drench resistan

  • The most common lice affecting sheep are body lice (Bovicola ovis).

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

  • Flystrike is a significant health and welfare risk to Australian sheep and costs $280 million annually.

  • Nasal bots are the maggots or larvae of the sheep nasal bot fly, Oestrus ovis.

  • Hydatid disease is a serious human health concern, caused by cysts of the tapeworm parasite Echinococcus granulosus.