Anthrax outbreak kills cattle on Victorian property

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An anthrax outbreak is believed to be behind the deaths of multiple cows on a property in regional Victoria.

Agriculture Victoria has confirmed the beef property north-east of Shepparton had been quarantined after the death of five beef cattle.

The remaining cattle have been vaccinated.

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Anthrax is a disease caused by spore-forming bacteria that naturally occurs in soil.

In rare cases, the disease can affect humans.

Anthrax symptoms in animals include fever, a lack of appetite, lethargy or sudden death, often with blood visible at the nose, mouth or anus.

Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Graeme Cooke said the disease on the farm had been picked up early.

"Due to early reporting by the impacted farmer and veterinarians, swift action was able to be taken to reduce the likelihood of the detection impacting more livestock," Cooke said.

"Quarantine controls will not affect the movement of local people, vehicles, or livestock."

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A file photo of cattle relaxing in a paddock.

Agriculture Victoria stressed the disease did not spread rapidly and was not contagious for humans.

It said there was no general public health risk, which was confined to people who handled affected livestock.

The last detection of anthrax in Victoria was in February 2022, near Swan Hill.