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Farm restrictions on Qld disease outbreak


The state government says it's doing all it can to manage an outbreak of a serious bovine disease in central Queensland.

Three cattle tested positive to the potentially deadly Bovine Johne's Disease (BJD) at a stud property south of Rockhampton last month.

BJD is a soil-borne illness that poses no risk to human health, but causes muscle wasting in cattle and has no effective treatment.

The government has restricted the movement of cattle at 150 properties in a bid to prevent the disease spreading.

"We have a very low prevalence of BJD in Queensland and it's really important for industry that we maintain this status," Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Having a low prevalence of BJD facilitates exports and provides Queensland producers with greater market access than other parts of Australia that do not have protected status."

Mr McVeigh said only one property had been confirmed as being infected with BHD, and only three out of the 600-head herd had tested positive.

The movement restrictions apply to 150 properties that received animals from the infected property.

Biosecurity Queensland staff and private vets are assessing each property to find out if other animals are infected.

The complex nature of tests for BJD means it could take 12 weeks or more to receive results, Mr McVeigh said, adding that those cattle farmers affected could apply for support under a national assistance scheme.

"We're aware that movement restrictions are impacting affected producers and we're working hard to resolve this situation as quickly as possible," he said.