Re­search to find cat­tle pest so­lu­tion

Broome Advertiser - - News - Glenn Cord­ing­ley

Mil­lions of dol­lars will be thrown into cre­at­ing a bi­o­log­i­cal prod­uct to treat the north­ern beef in­dus­try’s most sig­nif­i­cant pests — cat­tle tick and buf­falo fly.

A $3 mil­lion grant through the Com­mon­wealth-funded Co­op­er­a­tive Re­search Cen­tre (CRC) for De­vel­op­ing North­ern Aus­tralia would help fund the re­search by Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia, Mi­cro­bial Screen­ing Tech­nolo­gies and Mac­quarie Univer­sity.

The three-year Pro­bio-TICK project is aimed at de­vel­op­ing a low­cost, chem­i­cal residue-free, mi­cro­bial treat­ment ap­plied to the hide of cat­tle to pro­vide life-long pro­tec­tion against cat­tle tick and buf­falo fly.

MLA pro­gram man­ager health wel­fare and biose­cu­rity Jim Roth­well, said the suc­cess­ful prod­uct could of­fer many po­ten­tial ben­e­fits for the north­ern beef in­dus­try in­clud­ing im­proved an­i­mal health and wel­fare out­comes, and a boost to pro­duc­tiv­ity and prof­itabil­ity.

“Cat­tle tick and buf­falo fly punch a big hole in the in­come of north­ern beef pro­duc­ers, cost­ing $260 mil­lion per an­num,” Dr Roth­well said. “Fail­ure to con­trol ec­topar­a­sites like cat­tle tick and buf­falo fly is a ma­jor road­block.

Project leader and MST man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ernest Lacey, said the prod­uct would in­volve ben­e­fi­cial mi­crobes ap­plied to the hide of cat­tle.

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