Animal Health Australia’s (AHA) revamped Spotted Anything Unusual? campaign has been launched to remind producers to be on the lookout for symptoms of unusual or exotic livestock diseases that have the potential to devastate Australia’s livestock industry and impact human health.
Distribution of Spotted Anything Unusual? fridge magnets will kick off the campaign, with the slogan ‘Look, check, ask a vet’.
The magnets are being distributed around the country through the Livestock Biosecurity Network and AHA’s livestock industry members.
The magnet set includes eight individual designs featuring the screw worm fly (considered to be the most serious exotic pest threatening Australia’s northern livestock production) and images of animals from Australia’s major livestock industries including beef cattle, dairy, goats, horses, pigs, sheep meat and wool.
Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland said the Spotted Anything Unusual? fridge magnets are designed to enlist the help of Australia’s producers to keep a lookout for unusual symptoms as part of their existing stock monitoring routine.
“Early detection of and responding quickly to existing endemic diseases is an important on-farm biosecurity practice. However, the message we want to give producers is that by proactively monitoring their livestock they can help their own industry and potentially the nation, by reporting symptoms that could be as a result of an exotic disease like foot and mouth disease.
“Producers should always be on the lookout for signs of disease and if they see unusual symptoms they should report them straight away. Early intervention is vital in an emergency animal disease outbreak.
“If you suspect a pest or disease outbreak or have seen something unusual and you’re not sure whether it’s an exotic pest or disease, report it. Don’t worry how insignificant it may be. Small signs may be an early indication that something’s wrong,” Mr Rowland said.
Suspicions of a serious livestock disease must be reported to your local government vet, your own private vet, a stock inspector. If in doubt, simply call the free Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.
Go to the emergency animal diseases page for information about reporting unusual symptoms.