Floods and rain bring risk of disease to livestock

The floods and rain in the past months have created potential issues for farmers.

The North Coast Local Land Services veterinarian team have advice for producers for ongoing management of their livestock health and welfare.

In the short term, there is the immediate work involved in repairing infrastructure such as fence-lines and laneways and ensuring that livestock have adequate food, water and shelter.

The weather conditions have brought an increased potential for certain livestock diseases.

The major diseases to remain vigilant for include:

gastrointestinal diseases such as yersinia (mud scours)

parasites such as barbers pole worms, small intestinal worms, stomach and liver fluke

lameness as the result of trauma to softened hooves and lower leg skin

bacterial infections of the hoof

mastitis (in beef or dairy animals)

clostridial infections, including blackleg and botulism

toxicities due to poisonous plants

There are steps farmers can take to minimise the risk for these conditions including:

prevent access to animal carcasses

always provide access to clean, fresh drinking water

consider moving stock from pasture with heavy soil contamination where possible

testing cattle for intestinal worms and fluke and then treating if required

ensuring that all 5-in-1 and 7-in-1 vaccines are up to date in cattle or that 3-in-1 or 6-in-1 vaccines are up to date in sheep

monitor paddocks for new weeds that may have come in with floods or feed.

If you have any immediate animal disease concerns regarding your livestock or would like more information on livestock diseases following the floods, contact either your private veterinarian or the North Coast Local Land Services District veterinarian team on 1300 795 299.

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