Botulism Kills Hundred of Cows in Northern Territory

AUSTRALIA - The deaths of 300 cattle at Warringungu, Northern Territory, this month have been linked to botulism.
calendar icon 28 June 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

These reports have come despite the cattle being vaccinated for the disease, reports ABC Rural.

 The vaccinations took place four days before the cows started dying of the botulism, which Garry Cook from the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) says in unknown.

It is suspected the source of infection was decaying animal carcasses.

"We're really perplexed about what's happened because these cattle have been vaccinated every year. They were freshly vaccinated and turned out of the yards into this particular paddock," Mr Cook told ABC Rural.

"So why these particular animals succumbed to something despite vaccination is something the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF) is still working with us on."

Having so many animals die is a shock to an award winning business, he added. The station was recently named as the best indigenous owned and run businesses in Australia by the Federal Government. 

It is the first time something like this has happened to the (ILC), which runs 96,000 cattle across Australia, added Mr Cook, reassuring that all holdings in the business have the same disease risk protocol. 

It is the understanding of the DPIF that the animals all received botulism vaccinations. This, Mr Cook says, is no total safeguard.

A very strong amount of toxin can overpower the animal's immune system, he concluded.

In a statement, the DPIF said that circumstances would be examined to avoid a repeat case in the future.  


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