Fears bovine disease may have spread

Up to 160 properties may have received cattle infected by Bovine Johne's Disease (BJD) from a central Queensland beef stud.

Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh on Friday went to Rockhampton to meet graziers and organise the state government's response to the situation.

Several cattle at a stud property south of Rockhampton tested positive to the potentially deadly muscle-wasting sickness.

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

Mr McVeigh says the most immediate challenge is determining whether infected animals have been sold to other properties.

"(We are) focusing very much on eradicating or proving that those individual properties are free of concern as soon as possible," Mr McVeigh told the ABC.

"If not, and if there is a risk, we'll be looking at eradicating the risk and working out the best way to do that and ensuring that we are conscious of the operating and particularly the commercial needs of those individual operators."

Mr McVeigh said Friday's meeting would allow the department to provide a full briefing to affected graziers.

More than 70 agriculture department staff are believed to be working to determine the extent of the outbreak.

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