WA dairy herds all clear for EBL

29 Jun, 2009 01:19 PM
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Western Australian dairy exports have retained their competitive edge in world markets following negative results for enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL) testing.

National Dairy Industry EBL Eradication Program WA representative Peter Evans said negative results from the testing of all WA dairy herds have given them EBL Monitored Free status.

Mr Evans said the Department of Agriculture and Food had managed the program, supervised sample collection and carried out the laboratory tests with funding for the testing of bulk milk samples from the Cattle Industry Compensation Fund.

"While EBL is not a risk to human health, the Monitored Free status will help us retain WA's market access by matching the EBL-free status of other major exporting countries," Mr Evans said.

"All 193 dairy herds in Western Australia have undergone the required testing and are now EBL Monitored Free.

"While one dairy herd had been infected, it had culled the infected cattle, and has now had two clear herd tests."

Mr Evans said that for WA to maintain EBL Monitored Free status, it was vital that dairy farmers ask for a National Vendor Declaration (NVD) when bringing in new cattle.

"It's also important to test for EBL in beef cattle, or dairy cattle in contact with beef cattle, before moving them to a dairy farm."

Mr Evans warned that dairy herds that tested positive to EBL would be quarantined.

"If dairy herds are found to have EBL, infected cattle will need to be culled and sales of cattle to other dairy farms will not be permitted until the infection has been eradicated," he said.

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