Producers urged to watch for Pimelea poisoning

Reports of Pimelea poisoning in western Queensland cattle

Beef
A cow affected by Pimelea poisoning. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher.

A cow affected by Pimelea poisoning. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher.

Aa

Reports of toxic Pimelea have been popping up in western Queensland

Aa

Producers in western Queensland are being reminded to keep an eye out for toxic Pimelea plants after reports of poisoned stock in the region.

Blackall-based Biosecurity Queensland stock inspector Dan Burton said a small number of properties had recently euthanised cattle that had eaten Pimelea.

Recent weather patterns had created ideal conditions for Pimelea growth on some stations, Mr Burton said.

"Around Blackall it has just started, we are just starting to get the odd report of Pimelea," he said.

"Further out there have been some deaths - places have lost into the double figures with Pimelea. It just seems to be starting now."

Pimelea is a native plant that affects sheep and horses and is potentially lethal to cattle, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

Symptoms of Pimelea poisoning include swelling of the head, brisket and abdomen, dark diarrhoea and loss of condition, according to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Cattle that were new to the region seemed particularly susceptible to Pimelea poisoning, Mr Burton said.

Cattle that were potentially affected should be immediately moved to other pasture or feed sources.

"We are watching it, we've got a lot of people that know about it," Mr Burton said.

"You've got to act pretty quick to save the cattle - putting them into yards or into laneways and just nursing them along."

Biosecurity Queensland stock inspector Dan Burton says reports of Pimelea are just starting to trickle in.

Biosecurity Queensland stock inspector Dan Burton says reports of Pimelea are just starting to trickle in.

Robyn Adams is a beef producer from Stratford Station in the southern desert uplands near Jericho, a region that has historically been a hotspot for Pimelea.

She said a small amount of Pimelea had recently grown through on her property.

"There's a little bit now because we had that late rain and some cooler weather," she said.

"I've got a little bit around. I went and had a look yesterday and I've got a couple of bulls with just a little bit of swelling.

"I'll be able to get them out of the paddock and they will recover."

A paddock with Pimelea. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher.

A paddock with Pimelea. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher.

In her experience stock that had not seen Pimelea before fared worse than other stock, Ms Adams said.

Poisoning can occur after cattle eat green or dried plant matter, by drinking water with Pimelea fragments, or through inhalation of dry matter, the agriculture department said.

Producers who were concerned about Pimelea poisoning should contact the Agriculture Department, Mr Burton said.

The department has been collecting samples and data to inform Pimelea research.

"If anyone is concerned give us a holler. We are still collecting some samples," Mr Burton said.

"It's always good to know how far it has spread, who is affected and why they've been affected."

The University of Queensland, the Agriculture Department, Animal Health Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia are hosting a series of animal health workshops throughout western Queensland that will cover Pimelea, beginning in Blackall on July 8.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by