Q fever a mil­lion dol­lar prob­lem

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

THE live­stock in­dus­try mil­lions of dol­lars across the sup­ply chain due to a lack of un­der­stand­ing around Q fever, a new cam­paign be­ing run by Vic­to­ria’s peak farmer group will show.

The Vic­to­rian Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion Live­stock Group is set to launch an aware­ness cam­paign hit­ting home the se­ri­ous­ness of Q Fever as a drain on the live­stock sup­ply chain.

The $100,000 cam­paign in­cludes in­dus­try work­shops, preparedness tool­kits and tar­geted ad­ver­tis­ing to pro­mote the dan­gers of Q fever and the im­por­tance of vac­ci­na­tion.

“Q fever is car­ried by cat­tle, sheep, goats, feral an­i­mals and ro­dents, and can be trans­mit­ted to hu­mans,” VFF live­stock pres­i­dent Leonard Val­lance said.

“It af­fects farm­ers, farm em­ploy­ees, shear­ers, an­i­mal car­ri­ers, abat­toir work­ers, meat in­spec­tors and vets – so, if you work with live­stock right across the sup­ply chain, you are at risk of get­ting Q fever.”

Mr Val­lance said Q fever was a mas­sive is­sue with around 600 cases re­ported across Aus­tralia each year, which cost in­dus­try mil­lions of dol­lars an­nu­ally in lost pro­duc­tiv­ity, med­i­cal costs and other ex­penses.

“Q fever costs the meat in­dus­try alone at least $1 mil­lion ev­ery year, and when you add that up across all the live­stock in­dus­tries, it’s pretty sig­nif­i­cant and re­ally un­der­scores the im­por­tance of get­ting your em­ploy­ees vac­ci­nated,” he said.

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