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.

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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