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Local Land Services/Zoetis partnership gets results

Over the past two years the Livestock Health & Pest Authority (now Local Land Services) in conjunction with Zoetis (formally Pfizer) worked together on a Leptospirosis surveillance research project across the Central, North and Western regions of NSW.

As a result, a comprehensive and current report on Leptospirosis exposure in sheep flocks, cattle herds and feral pig populations in our local area has been compiled.

Both Local Land Services and Zoetis would like to acknowledge the land owners and managers who participated in this study, without their assistance the valuable information in this report would not have been obtained. 

At a local level, the research project results will help guide livestock producers to make the best decisions in terms of vaccination and management to protect the reproductive potential of their herd, the health of themselves, their staff and families. It also provides Local Land Services further reason to run targeted pest animals programs in the area, and importantly provides baseline data for future comparison.

Based on the findings, it is highly recommended that cattle producers in our region vaccinate their cattle for Leptospirosis, both to reduce the impact of it on their reproductive performance, and to reduce the risk of cattle spreading it to the farmer, his family & workers.

In summary, the main findings were:

  • 38% of individual feral pigs tested had exposure to Leptospirosis;
  • 61% of farms on which feral pigs were tested had evidence of Leptospirosis circulating; and
  • 16% of individual pigs had a high antibody level, consistent with an active infection (and probably shedding Leptospirosis in their urine).

In summary, feral pigs in our region are a major source of Leptospirosis, which is both a risk to the reproductive performance of livestock and to human health.

In addition, 18% of all cattle tested had exposure, while 59% of cattle properties tested had evidence of Leptospirosis in at least one animal.

The full report will be released in the near future, however if you would like to talk to your district veterinarian about Leptospirosis, please contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.

Media contact: Fiona Townsend Ph: 0428 284 252 or 02 6851 9517 or email

 

Image: Central West Local Land Services District Veterinarian Dr Jillian Kelly and Zoetis Veterinarian Dr Elizabeth Ferguson review report results in the field.