BJD outbreak hits industry
QUEENSLAND’S cattle industry has been left reeling after Bovine Johne’s disease was detected at Rockley Brahmans at Bajool, owned by the Kirk family.
Chris, Sally and Ashley Kirk have expressed their dismay through a statement on their website.
“As you can image, we are shocked at this discovery and have no evidence as to how or when this disease came into existence on our property,” the statement reads.
“We have taken all necessary precautions since confirmation of the disease and its existence and have been dealing with all relevant authorities to curtail the spread of the disease.
“The stud herd and all cattle on Rockley have been quarantined as have the cattle on our other holdings, The Cedars and Ungarra.
“At this early stage we are permitted to only sell cattle direct to the abattoirs.”
The discovery will have a profound effect on the genetics the Kirk family hasworked generations to produce. Ashley Kirk said the infected stud breeders would now be left as commercial breeders, and the family would have to re-establish their stud herd.
“We’re obviously under quarantine still and we’ve got no plan to eradicate the disease,” he said.
“(We’ll be) starting afresh with IVF work and work on getting some clean paddocks so we can rebuild and start our herd through that again.”
Many cattle producers who have purchased cattle from the stud, referred to as trace forward properties, have now been placed in an equally unfortunate predicament.
Biosecurity Queensland said about 160 properties had been identified in this category and were now undergoing risk assessment including tracing where cattle have gone from these properties.
A link has been confirmed to Western Australia, the only state with BJD-free status under theNational BJD Management Plan, as well as the wider Queensland region, New SouthWales and the Northern Territory.
Biosecurity Queensland’s chief veterinary officer Dr Rick Symons said the beef stud property near Rockhampton was still the only property confirmed as having the infection.
Dr Symons said a comprehensive information pack was now available for the Queensland cattle industry, producers and general community from biosecurity.qld.gov.au.
Producers who think they could be affected, but have not been contacted by Biosecurity Queensland, are urged to call 13 25 23.
JOHNE’S OUTBREAK: Chief veterinary officer for Queensland Rick Symons, chief biosecurity officer for Queensland Jim Thompson and DAFF Minister John McVeigh meet with cattle producers in Rockhampton.