A GRAFTON man may face prosecution for illegally introducing cattle ticks from Queensland to NSW after a horse at Woolgoolga was found to be infected with the notifiable parasite.
"The man entered a commercial arrangement with the horse's owner to bring the horse back to Woolgoolga from the Gympie area for a fee - which included stopping at the border for a cattle-tick treatment," Department of Primary Industries regional veterinary officer Paul Freeman said.
"Investigations are ongoing but it is alleged the man did not stop at the border and get the horse treated for cattle ticks, which is an offence under the NSW Stock Diseases Act."
Mr Freeman said the illegal movement was picked up by the DPI surveillance cameras at Tweed Heads and the owner of the vehicle was tracked down.
"DPI inspectors found the horse at Woolgoolga to be infected with cattle ticks from Queensland," he said. "The Woolgoolga property is now in quarantine for cattle ticks - even though the owner, an innocent victim, paid to have her horse treated at the Queensland border."
"The important message for stock owners is to check their stock for ticks because when we get on to an outbreak early, we can contain it quickly," Mr Freeman said.
"Stock owners who bring in Queensland cattle or horses are advised to keep them in a holding paddock for a week or two as a biosecurity measure.
"That way the animals can be monitored for ticks and, if cattle ticks are found, the entire property is not quarantined - just the holding paddock."
Stock owners who suspect their stock have cattle ticks or tick fever should contact the DPI, their private veterinarian or their local LHPA.