Territory Stories

Barkly beef



Barkly beef


Northern Territory. Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries


Barkly Beef; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Barkly Beef




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Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Tennant Creek Region -- Periodicals; Tennant Creek Region -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

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Tennant Creek


Barkly Beef



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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Northern Territory Government



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DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRY AND FISHERIES BARKLY BEEF | page 6 www.dpif.nt.gov.au Some important cattle diseases present in the Barkly - Part 2 John Eccles, Regional Veterinary Officer, Katherine Most cattle producers probably do not realise the extent of economic loss that can occur through reproductive failure in their cattle. In well-managed herds, an accepted level of reproductive wastage from early pregnancy to weaning is about 10%. Heifers and first calf cows are the groups most likely affected by reproductive diseases, as older cows have generally developed some degree of immunity through previous exposure. Besides the three major causes of productivity loss that will be discussed, there are also many other non-infectious factors that contribute to infertility and productivity loss. Up to 60% of bovine abortion cases may be attributed to non-infectious causes. The three major causes of productivity losses are Pestivirus (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea), Campylobacter (Vibriosis) and Ephemeral Fever (3-day sickness). Other diseases such as Leptospirosis, Trichomoniasis, Neosporosis, Akabane and a host of other viruses, whilst existing in the NT, are generally of much less importance. In this edition, we will discuss Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) and Bovine Ephemeral Fever (3 day sickness). Pestivirus: Pestivirus, also known as Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) is an acute, highly contagious, worldwide disease of cattle that results in enteric and respiratory disease and associated reproductive loss. Results from the serosurvey conducted in 2010 indicated that Pestivirus was commonly recorded in all regions of the NT. The virus is spread via direct contact with infected materials such as saliva, nasal secretions, urine, faeces and birth fluids of persistently infected (PI) animals. Temporary high-stocking situations such as mustering, yarding, trucking and supplementary feeding/watering sites all contribute to the spread of the virus. Persistent infection with pestivirus should always be considered where some young cattle in a mob are doing very poorly while other cattle are doing very well. The major source of infection on properties is the presence of persistently infected (PI) animals. These are calves born from cows that were infected prior to 125 days of gestation. PI animals are generally ill thrifty and most will die before 2 years of age. However some will appear normal and may even enter the breeding herd undetected and continue to infect those cattle around them. What is the impact of Bovine Pestivirus? In adult cattle, infection with Bovine Pestivirus usually only causes mild flu-like symptoms with low mortality rates. Once recovered, infected animals develop a long lasting immunity to the disease Issues occur when heifers and cows are infected for the first time during pregnancy. The effects of the disease vary according to the stage of pregnancy the cow/heifer is in when it becomes infected. o Infection at the time of mating -- disrupts cycling and causes early foetal death o Infection at 1-4 months ---------- causes abortion or produces PI calves. o Infection at 4-6 months --------- causes abortions or abnormal calves (brain and eye defects) o Infection at 7-9 months --------- generally causes no problems Once a heifer or cow has been exposed to the virus and developed immunity, future pregnancies will not be affected even if she is re-exposed to the virus later on. On a limited survey carried out

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