Disease surveillance and control

National mad cow disease and scrapie monitoring

Animal Health Australia coordinates a national program to monitor the following transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) diseases:

  • bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, which affects cattle
  • scrapie, which affects sheep and goats.

Neither disease is present in Australia.

National TSE Freedom Assurance Program

Animal Health Australia manages the TSE Freedom Assurance Program to keep Australian animals and their products free of these diseases and minimise the risk of them entering.

The program incorporates:

  • surveillance
  • ruminant feeding restrictions, including audit, feed sampling and testing
  • quarantine of all susceptible animals imported from countries which have later experienced TSEs.

To find out more, go to the Animal Health Australia website.

National restrictions

Since 1988 Australia has banned the importation of cattle, embryos and meat and bone meal from countries affected by mad cow disease.

Cattle feeding restrictions

You must not feed meat meal, bone meal, blood meal, fish meal, poultry meal, feather meal and poultry manure to ruminants.

To learn more about mad cow disease and restrictions on cattle feed, read the Agnote cattle feeding restrictions to prevent mad cow disease PDF (286.2 KB).

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Last updated: 28 September 2020

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