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May 13, 2002

AUSTRALIA: Second farm quarantined after heifer dies from anthrax

The death of a two-year-old heifer from bacterial anthrax has left a second farm in Victoria state under quarantine. Keith Hamilton, the state's agriculture minister, released a statement yesterday [Sunday] that said: “Immediate measures have been taken to control the disease by quarantining the property, disposing of the infected carcass by incineration and vaccinating the remaining cattle on the property.

The death of a two-year-old heifer from bacterial anthrax has left a second farm in Victoria state under quarantine.

Keith Hamilton, the state’s agriculture minister, released a statement yesterday [Sunday] that said: “Immediate measures have been taken to control the disease by quarantining the property, disposing of the infected carcass by incineration and vaccinating the remaining cattle on the property.

“There are no implications to public health or food safety of meat and dairy products from the area,” he added.

Situated near Shepparton, in the north of Victoria, the farm saw several cases of anthrax in 1997. It is possible that the heifer was contaminated by grazing on the farm land, as spores of Bacillus Anthracis can lie dormant in the soil for decades. Last month, a farm at nearby Tatura was isolated after a steer also died from anthrax.    

Hamilton said that the farms would be released from quarantine six weeks after the date on which they were vaccinated.

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