Reporting animal disease

Report serious or unusual symptoms or behaviour in your livestock or birds to one of the following:

  • Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888
  • your private veterinarian
  • nearest animal health adviser or government veterinarian officer.

Report any suspicions of disease immediately. We will determine whether a significant or notifiable disease is occurring.

Notifiable diseases

Notifiable diseases are animal diseases that are a national threat. There is a legal requirement that anyone who suspects or diagnoses a notifiable disease reports it immediately to any of the people listed above. Failure to report a suspicion or diagnosis of a notifiable disease may result in a fine or prosecution.

Lists of notifiable diseases:

Symptoms that could be notifiable, serious, or unusual disease

Report any of the following symptoms in livestock or birds:

  • a large number of sick or dead animals
  • fast spread of disease through a herd or flock
  • animals that are lame, drooling, or salivating excessively
  • ulcers, erosions, or blisters around the feet, muzzle, udder, and the mouth
  • unusual nervous behavior
  • discharge, including:
    • diarrhoea, especially if there is blood in it
    • excessive nasal discharge
  • birds with dullness, swollen heads, or respiratory distress
  • production drop in
    • milk yield for livestock
    • egg production in birds
  • an increase in thin-shelled eggs in birds
  • sudden illness with rapid deterioration or death in horses
  • any unusual or unfamiliar disease symptoms in animals or birds.

Watch for less serious symptoms too. Animals not eating properly or depressed behaviour may be a sign of disease.

For aquatic animal diseases and symptoms see the aquatic diseases page.

How to report suspected illness or disease

Give the following information when notifying your vet or animal health adviser:

  • what pest or disease is suspected
  • the name of the owner or farm manager
  • property details including:
    • street address
    • telephone number
    • Property Identification Code
  • the livestock species
  • number of animals on the property, including wild animals
  • the type of animals being affected
  • a description of clinical signs of the illness
  • the date symptoms were first noticed
  • approximate number of sick or dead animals
  • if any animals that could carry disease or illness were brought to the property or left it
  • any overseas travel by people on the property.

See the AUSVETPLAN on the Animal Health Australia website for more information.

Page Last Reviewed: 26 Feb 2018
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