Anthrax Outbreak on Australian Ranches Prompts Government Study

AUSTRALIA - Government officials are studying an outbreak of anthrax disease on five cattle ranches in Australia, the world's second-biggest beef exporter.
calendar icon 28 December 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
There are 12 confirmed cattle deaths ``but the actual figure is closer to 20 now,'' Brett Fifield, a New South Wales state Department of Primary Industries spokesman, said by phone. ``We have 3000 vaccination doses to deploy to cattle owners to build immunity.''

Anthrax, which is controlled by vaccination, occurs sporadically in New South Wales during the summer, according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand. The disease is caused by bacteria living in the soil and there are usually between four and six cases reported a year in Australia, Fifield said.

``We now have veterinary teams looking at these incidents'' on the ranches, which are quarantined, he said. ``It is an extremely curious disease because it can stay in the ground for decades and it takes something like rain to expose it.''

Anthrax is an infectious, usually fatal disease of warm- blooded animals, especially cattle and sheep. It can be transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated animal substances, such as hair, feces, or hides

Source: Bloomberg

Further Reading

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