Livestock health & diseases

Western Australia’s freedom from many pests and diseases allows our livestock producers access to a wide range of international and domestic markets. To maintain this enviable biosecurity status, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development ensures significant livestock disease is investigated. This information helps to assure trading partners that we are free of diseases.

Some diseases can have devastating effects on the livelihoods of everyone in the supply chain. To ensure the impacts on the economy and community are minimised, the department maintains trained, response-ready staff and systems to ensure an emergency animal disease incident is promptly and efficiently controlled. In addition, the risk of introduction of exotic disease is also managed by ensuring stockfeed contains appropriate ingredients.


  • Identification of livestock is required by law under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement of Stock and Apiaries) Regulations 2013 [BAM (IMSA) Regulations].

  • Western Australia exports about 80% of its livestock and livestock product annually.

  • Ovine brucellosis is a reproductive disease that can affect all breeds of sheep.

  • Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) approved procedure for detection of trematode eggs and Eimeria leuckarti sedimentation method (FEST) on faecal samples.

  • These tools and calculators are designed to help producers manage their ewe flock more effectively and make better management decisions about feed budgeting and grazing.

  • There are multiple possible causes of both infertility and abortion in ewes, but making a definitive diagnosis is often difficult. Some diseases which are exotic to Australia can cause abortions.

  • Johne’s disease (JD) is an incurable infectious disease of ruminants including cattle, sheep, goats, alpaca and deer. It causes chronic diarrhoea and wasting, which eventually leads to death.

  • There are three strains of the bacteria, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, that cause Johne’s disease (JD): sheep/ovine (S-), cattle (C-/bovine) and bison strains.

  • C-strain of Johne's disease (JD) in cattle is not known to be present in Western Australia.

  • Anthrax is a bacterial disease of animals, most commonly seen in cattle, sheep and goats.


Filter by search

Filter by topic