Research to find cattle pest solution
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.