Cattle Cam under fire
STATE Member for Lismore Thomas George is standing by his criticism of Border Cam, the electronic surveillance system used to detect illegal movements of cattle between the Queensland and NSW borders.
The system replaced tick inspectors in 2008.
“It’s about time someone has been fined,” Mr George said.
Yesterday, Minister for Primary Industries Steve Whan announced a Dorrigo farmer had been fined $550 for moving three head of cattle from Queensland to NSW in a horse float.
The movement was detected at the Sextons Hill border crossing at Tweed Heads.
Ticks were not detected on the stock.
Mr George said farmers had told him of other cases where infected livestock had successfully crossed the border without detection, resulting in a cattle tick outbreak.
Mr George said inspectors should be reinstated at border crossings and a buffer zone created between NSW and Queensland.
“We don’t need to go back to the past, but Labour has continually wound back controls of ticks in NSW,” he said.
Currently, there are 35 properties in the region infected with cattle ticks, higher than last year.
Mr George also called on Industry and Investment NSW to release information about the number of properties currently quarantined on the Northern Rivers.
Without this information, Mr George said it was impossible to get an accurate indication of how bad the cattle tick problem was.
However, the Minister said Border Cam was effective.
“The camera takes front and rear photographs of vehicles large enough to carry livestock and is able to determine in most cases if animals are on board,” Mr Whan said.
Border Cam was backed up by random roving inspections.
The Minister said that most tick infestations did not come from Queensland, but originated in NSW. This was further evidence of Border Cam’s effectiveness.
- Tick fever is disease of cattle caused by three blood-borne viruses.
- Cattle of any breed are at risk, but British breeds are particularly susceptible.
- Fever and red urine are typical symptoms of tick fever.