The bluetongue virus (BTV) transmission zone has been extended approximately 100 kilometres south and inland following detection of BTV in cattle in the Shoalhaven area during routine testing for the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP).
NSW Department of Primary Industries Principal Veterinary Virologist, Deborah Finlaison, has advised that the BTV transmission zone now extends south from Nowra to Bateman’s Bay.
“Previously in the free zone, Braidwood and Goulburn districts are now in the buffer area, which immediately surrounds the transmission zone,” Dr Finlaison said.
“These changes mean properties located within any part of the BTV transmission zone, including buffer areas where BTV activity is still possible, are not eligible to export live animals to some countries.
“Livestock producers should check with their exporter or the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to confirm the importing country’s requirements.”
Producers can confirm the current status of their property by viewing up-to-date BTV zone maps online, namp.animalhealthaustralia.com.au
A region must have no occurrence of BTV detected by NAMP testing for at least two years to be eligible to be in the BTV transmission-free zone.
South East Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Evelyn Walker, said BTV was last found in the Shoalhaven in 2017 and the region was returned to the transmission-free zone in August 2019.
“The south coast area received high rainfall during February this year and that led to large populations of midges, which are vectors of BTV,” Ms Walker said.
“There is no cause for concern regarding the health of local sheep and cattle which have been exposed to BTV, as the strains of BTV in NSW are considered to have a very low likelihood of causing disease.”