Stock owners are responsible for their own cattle tick control.
Cattle tick control and treatment in endemic areas is the duty of the individual person responsible for the cattle.
Other people’s expectations should be considered, in particular people who may be receiving the cattle at their destination.
The decision to treat cattle before movement may depend on the level of tick infestation, seasonal conditions, legislative requirements and the destination or intended market. Depending on the circumstances, a certain level of cattle tick infestation may be acceptable.
The need to treat cattle before consigning them to meatworks depends on the location of the facility and the legislative requirements of the state. For cattle traveling from the cattle tick infected zone to a meatwork facility in an infested zone, there is little or no benefit in treatments. However, for facilities in the cattle tick free zone, regulatory requirements must be complied with.
Any applied treatments need to minimise the risk of chemical residues in or on the animal and ensure that the animals are not sent to slaughter within any withholding periods (WHP) and export slaughter intervals (ESI).
Cattle owners need to be mindful that cattle that are heavily infested with ticks at a public saleyard may raise a public perception of poor management and raise concerns of animal welfare.
Consider your cattle type, target market and potential buyers. Treating cattle before sending them to a saleyard will present them visibly free of ticks and will provide some confidence for buyers that they may be able to move stock in a timely, cost effective manner that minimises the risk of introducing resistant ticks. Care should be taken to not sell older cattle through a saleyard that are within a WHP or ESI. Sending cattle to sale within a WHP or ESI will automatically discourage abattoir buyers from the purchase.
Buyers from tick-free areas may discount on the purchase price to cover the costs of inspection and treatment to move between cattle tick zones.
Provide a declaration of any treatments, even those chemicals outside of any withholding period that are not required to be listed, on a National Vendor Declaration (NVD) using a cattle health declaration. This will allow buyers to make an informed decision of the risk of chemical resistance and enable them to determine any further treatment program or quarantine strategy they may need to adopt to prevent the introduction of resistant ticks.
Property to property movements under the same ownership, in the same cattle tick zone, is the decision of the individual as to what, if any, treatment is applied to the cattle.
Property movements that cross a tick line from infected to free will need to comply with state legislation.
Remember though that a decision not to treat could impact on future control costs and options for that property, and it may impact on neighbouring properties.
Effective treatment before movement may prevent the spread of resistant ticks.