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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries 80 Critical to the successful control of the outbreak were restrictions imposed by Park management and the Race Club and widespread vaccination. DPIF provided advice and media releases. Three-day sickness: Calf losses on a northern Barkly Tablelands property were investigated. The manager observed most of the losses around bores during an outbreak of three- day sickness in mature breeders a month before. During the two days of the investigation, four animals were sampled but only two showed symptoms of the problem. One fresh stillborn calf was sampled for known abortive agents, but cultures were negative. Meliodosis: A long time resident of the Tennant Creek community became infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei in March, and subsequently died in Royal Darwin Hospital. The patient had not been near the Top End for 12 months. Despite all animal and soil tests from his property failing to isolate the organism, health authorities believed the person contracted the infection in Tennant Creek over the exceptionally Wet season. There are other medical references suggesting that melioidosis can become a risk in Central Australia during abnormally wet conditions. Orbivirus survey: Blood samples were collected from 32 Alice Springs horses and 15 Tennant Creek horses for the orbivirus survey. One aged horse from an Alice Springs station was positive for orbivirus antibody, and had spent 17 years on the property after coming from South Australia. Egg farm: Officers were requested to investigate the health of hens at the Tennant Creek Egg Farm after a mortality problem some weeks earlier. Lice continue to be a major problem and the lice management program is ineffective. Flooding is also a problem. A report was forwarded with recommendations. Murray valley encephalitis: Both the Alice Springs and Tennant Creek sentinel poultry flocks seroconverted to Murray valley encephalitis and Kunjin virus during the late Wet season. Widespread public health warnings by Territory Health Services were issued. Cattle worms: Poor growth in young steers on an Alice Springs station was investigated. Evidence of internal worm burdens indicated that this could have been a factor over the Wet season. Exposure to botulism may also have been a factor in causing weight loss, as serology showed exposure to the toxin. Pestivirus: A single Brahman heifer weaner on a Barkly Tableland property had high fever, profuse salivation, nasal and ocular discharge, dark scours and was anaemic. The case was investigated and diagnosed as mucosal disease, which is caused by a pestivirus. Cases of clinical pestivirus are rarely seen on extensive pastoral properties, although the disease is endemic, with up to 90% of adult cattle having antibody. Cattle losses from unknown causes: Three Alice Springs properties reported losses in some herds of up to 15%, for which the cause could not be identified. Prompt attendance has been difficult at times with depleted resources in the regions. Causes were likely to be poisonous plants or bovine ephemeral fever. One property lost 25 of 70 cows sent to South Australia. A private veterinarian investigated losses on the destination property, but the cause remains unknown. Four out of 400 weaner heifers died suddenly in yards at a Barkly Tablelands property whilst being worked. The stockman described the syndrome as sudden collapse. Unfortunately, no field investigation occurred and so diagnosis is speculative. All heifers had been recently dehorned, and so clostridial infection was a likely cause. Two cows suddenly went down at an Alice Springs station, similar to other losses over the previous six weeks in introduced cattle. Necropsy on one failed to identify a cause, however bovine ephemeral fever or weir vine poisoning is likely. The remaining 200 cows were trucked to New South Wales with no problem arising.