The District Veterinarian team at North Coast Local Land Services is currently undertaking a Producer Survey on Theileria. Bovine anaemia due to Theileria orientalis continues to cause losses on cattle properties in the North Coast region and on some properties these losses have been significant.
The disease is caused by a Protozoan blood parasite and is spread by bush ticks (Haemophysalis). The clinical signs of Theileriosis are associated with anaemia and affected animals are depressed, weak, exercise intolerant, with pale/sometimes yellow mucous membranes. Pregnant cows or heifers often abort.
On the North Coast cattle losses are attributed to this disease in two different instances;
- Deaths or abortions in adult cattle introduced to the area from regions which do not have bush ticks (eg west of the divide, southern NSW and Vic), and therefore those cattle were naïve.
- Deaths in young home bred calves – 2-3 months old.
The disease should be a genuine consideration for any producer moving stock from the drought affected western division to the North Coast. The high risk period for naïve cattle is 6-12 weeks post introduction and the District Vets are asking producers to seek veterinary advice prior to moving cattle into the region.
In conducting this producer survey North Coast Local Land Services is hoping to be better able to quantify the cost of this disease to local producers, as well as identifying possible risk factors.
The survey is open to all North Coast cattle producers (both beef and dairy) to complete and producers interested in participating in the survey can access it via the following link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/XTZSQ8N