A Queensland woman faces a $A550 fine for illegally introducing three horses from her home state into New South Wales (NSW) after cattle tick inspectors conducted a compliance audit at an endurance riding event on the Northern Tablelands last Friday.
The audit was carried out by inspectors with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
“The Sunshine Coast woman, who was interviewed at the Red Range event near Glen Innes, had failed to stop at the border and get her horses treated for cattle ticks, which is an offence under the NSW Stock Diseases Act,” said the department’s director of biosecurity compliance, Dr Andrew Sanger.
“The woman and the horses were sent back to Queensland and will receive a $A550 fine for the offence.
“Bringing horses, cattle or other livestock into NSW from Queensland without clearance risks spreading cattle ticks into NSW,” he said.
“Cattle ticks are the most serious external parasite of cattle in Australia and can transmit tick fever, a potentially fatal disease of cattle.”
Sanger said DPI regulatory offices had visited a campdraft at Guyra on the weekend, as well as the endurance event at Red Range on Friday, to check the compliance of horse owners with the NSW rules regarding cattle ticks.
“Our inspectors interviewed 47 Queensland competitors at the events and found only one to have breached the state’s entry requirements.
“It is clear the event organisers and the vast majority of competitors are doing the right thing,” he said. “But it only takes one breach to potentially bring cattle ticks into the state and cause major expense in eradicating any outbreak.”
Sanger said Queensland horse owners were welcome in NSW as long as they met the entry requirements.
“Cattle, horses and other livestock coming from tick-infected Queensland must be treated for cattle ticks before they enter NSW.
“It is also important for stockowners to check their stock for ticks because when we get on to an outbreak early, we can contain it quickly.”
Cattle ticks are a notifiable disease in NSW, meaning stockowners must report findings and any outbreaks must be eradicated.
Stockowners who suspect their stock have cattle ticks or tick fever should contact DPI, their private veterinarian, their local LHPA or the emergency animal disease watch hotline on 1800 675 888. NSW DPI has identification brochures available and people can call NSW DPI on (02) 6626 1201 for information about the regulations when moving livestock across the Queensland border.