Cattle tick outbreaks a headache

A SERIES of recent cattle tick outbreaks leading to quarantined farms has local graziers worried.

Spencer Spinaze, from Piora west of Casino, said this year was the first time in 50 years he had seen cattle ticks on his property.

“It’s a hell of a concern,” he said.

Mr Spinaze said he was now required to treat his stock 13 times over the next 10 months.

“That means a full muster every three weeks,” he said.

Mr Spinaze said he would comply but believed it was excessive compared with the old dip process that required only four treatments.

He said the problem was increasing due to the changes in regulations and the carelessness of other cattle owners.

Lismore MP Thomas George agreed it was a major issue and he questioned how the Government was going to ‘bring it back under control’ when it continued to make cutbacks to the State’s tick controls.

“The Government keeps insisting it’s not a concern, but I challenge it, the Minister and the Department of Industry and Investment to release the actual number of properties quarantined and the adjoining properties affected by cattle tick outbreaks,” he said.

“My old (stock and station) agency days tell me there is a problem and has been for some time.”

The NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan denied the Government was hiding any figures and said the recent warm, wet weather had been ideal for cattle ticks, but the number of NSW properties infected was within the normal range.

“The NSW Government takes cattle tick control very seriously and spends around $4 million each year on a range of measures,” he told The Northern Star yesterday.

“We have always supplied the numbers for media and public inquiries, and updated the numbers in recent media releases.

“So far this season there have been 50 new properties infected in NSW with cattle ticks, higher than this stage last year but within the normal range. Last year we had 67 infested properties.”

This was down from 84 the previous year.

He said neighbouring properties could agree to a voluntary undertaking to control ticks so they could continue to get permits to move cattle.



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