Controlling and eradicating cattle ticks is extremely important to the viability of the cattle industry. Cattle ticks are the most serious external parasite of cattle in Australia. The tick can carry the disease ‘tick fever’, which can kill cattle and has the potential to cause significant economic damage to the beef cattle and dairy industries of NSW.
There is an AgFact on them here. The only method of control is dipping.
Cattle ticks can be seen at any time of the year, but they mainly occur from late spring to midwinter. The numbers found on cattle increase rapidly from summer to autumn, reaching a peak on the north coast of NSW in late autumn to early winter. They decline with the onset of colder weather.
How to identify cattle ticks can be seen here
A recently completed research project led by Dr Peter Honey from Charles Sturt University has demonstrated that resistance to internal parasites can be improved through genetic selection, and it is likely that it is possible to select for greater resistance to internal parasites within a breeding program without compromising other commercially important traits.
The research project focussed on resistance to internal parasites in pasture based breeding herds in south eastern Australia with faecal egg count (FEC) samples taken from Angus cattle in 8 herds from Coolah in northern NSW to Mortlake in the Victorian western district. All calves were bred by AI using known fully BREEDPLAN recorded bulls with samples taken on animals between 6 and 17 months of age. Approximately 2500 samples, representing progeny from 77 different sires were evaluated in the research project.
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