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Blackleg warning issued

BlacklegNorth Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarians have diagnosed outbreaks of the deadly Clostridial disease, Blackleg, on several properties on the North Coast in recent weeks.

The disease most often affects cattle aged between six months and two years of age. Cattle become infected when they ingest contaminated feed or soil and most commonly it is seen in winter and spring when the grass is short.

BlacklegClinical signs of blackleg include lameness, anorexia, recumbency or animals are simply found dead. Carcasses of affected animals may appear bloated with limbs spread apart and pointing upwards. There may be frothy, blood stained discharge from the nostrils and anus.

Blackleg is easily and effectively prevented by vaccination, either using a 5 in 1 or a 7 in 1 vaccine. It is usually recommended to vaccinate calves twice, four weeks apart and then to give an annual booster.

Boosting two to three weeks before anticipated risk periods may also be beneficial.

Liz Bolin, District Veterinarian said, “In the face of an outbreak, cattle should be moved from affected pastures and prophylactic antibiotics and vaccination can be implemented to prevent further deaths.”

For more information please contact your private veterinarian or the North Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarian team.

Media contact:
Liz Bolin, District Veterinarian, 0412 303 907

Photo captions:
The deadly disease Blackleg has been diagnosed on the North Coast recently.