Gippsland farms have been cleared of blue tongue virus after cattle detected with virus antibodies last month were traced to the area. Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Charles Milne said the original consignment of dairy cattle from NSW, which had signs of the blue tongue virus, was split with some going to Echuca and some going to Gippsland.
He said five of the dairy cattle from the consignment in Gippsland showed positive exposure to the virus in the past, so neighbouring properties were tested.
Agriculture Victoria has sampled more than 2500 cattle in 100 herds since the discovery. The Weekly Times can reveal Agriculture Victoria has completed testing on a handful of properties near Traralgon.
“We took well over 100 samples on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and I’m pleased to say the preliminary screen for all samples is negative,” Dr Milne told The Weekly Times.
“Unlike Gippsland, we’ve not had all negative results from the Echuca area.”
Meanwhile, cattle producers are expected to get a clearer picture of the future of the northern Victorian exclusion zone next week.
A 100km zone was put in place after blue tongue virus antibodies were found in dairy heifers near Echuca on October 13. Dr Milne said cattle within the zone would not comply with import conditions for countries requiring the animal come from a blue tongue-free zone. The zone is to be in place until December 13. Dr Milne said the National Arbovirus Technical Monitoring Program Technical Committee met on Friday last week and would provide written advice to him about the virus zone around Echuca.
Source: The Weekly Times