Anthrax outbreak in south Qld cattle farm


Biosecurity officers in Queensland are attempting to contain an anthrax outbreak that has caused the death of 80 head of cattle on a St George farm.

Biosecurity Queensland says tests conducted on the dead animals on Friday have since confirmed the presence of the bacteria that causes anthrax.

"It's believed the cattle deaths were caused by the disturbance of contaminated soil, followed by rainfall that distributed the soil containing the bacteria," chief biosecurity officer Dr Jim Thompson said in a statement.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the risk of human exposure to anthrax from the cattle was very low.

"The veterinarian (who treated the animals) used appropriate personal protective equipment and eight people, including family and a farm worker, did not have any contact with the dead animals," Dr Young said in a statement.

The last case of anthrax in Queensland was in 2002, and was successfully contained, with the bacteria appearing more frequently in NSW.