Review of the Cattle Tick Program

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) is currently responsible for the management and delivery of a regulated Cattle Tick Program with co-operation from the cattle industry and other livestock owners which aims to minimise the cost of cattle tick and tick fever in the Territory.

A review is currently being undertaken to ensure that an effective risk-based, practical and financially viable program is maintained for the management of cattle tick based on clear and simple regulation, sound technical evidence, and appropriate resource allocation through consultation with the relevant livestock industries and other stakeholders. A discussion paper was released in September 2017 that is focused on addressing several key issues to determine the future management and delivery of the cattle tick program in the NT. These issues include:

  • which Cattle Tick Zones are required for effective management and whether the Parkhurst Zone and/or the Control Zone are needed
  • appropriate risk mitigation for cattle tick in high-risk species such as cattle and buffalo and/ low-risk risk species such as horses
  • what is appropriate risk mitigation for low-risk prior to movement
  • who is most appropriate person to undertake the cattle tick inspection and treatment (government inspector, third party inspector or livestock owner) and for which species
  • appropriate certification options which may include Inspector or owner declaration.

Following these outcomes, a decision on the funding mechanism (partial cost recovery, full cost recovery, levy or a combination) for the cattle tick program in the short-term and longer-term will be required.

The review provides an overview of the history of cattle tick and management in the Territory including zoning changes, chemical resistance, regulated livestock inspections and treatment statistics for movement, program costs and revenue from inspection services and cattle tick management in other states. It also outlines the current regulatory framework related to notifiable disease reporting obligations, declared areas and movement restrictions for cattle tick and fees for service.

The potential risks associated with cattle tick management in the Territory and the issues, risks and benefits associated with options for the future management, delivery and funding of the cattle tick program in the Territory are presented for the cattle industry and livestock owners to consider. A timeline for the activities that will be required if changes are to be made to the program management and/or delivery including regulatory changes is also presented in the review. The review will be presented at industry organisation meetings and livestock owners and other stakeholders can provide feedback on the review to the department.
Contact Sue Fitzpatrick. susanne.fitzpatrick@nt.gov.au08 8999 2123 or 0407 498 003.

Last updated: 16 October 2017