Australia: $3m funding to tackle cattle pests

Hygiene & Biosecurity

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will grant 3 million dollars for the funding of a research project undertaken by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) in partnership with Microbial Screening Technologies Pty Ltd (MST) and Macquarie University, which aim to develop a new biological product to treat two of the northern beef industry’s most significant pests - cattle tick and buffalo fly.

Posted on Nov 03 ,14:30

Australia: $3m funding to tackle cattle pests


The three-year Probio-TICK project is aimed at developing a low-cost, chemical residue-free, microbial treatment applied to the hide of cattle to provide life-long protection against cattle tick and buffalo fly, according to MLA's press release.

“Cattle tick and buffalo fly punch a big hole in the income of northern beef producers, costing $260 million per annum,” MLA’s Program Manager – Health Welfare and Biosecurity, Dr. Jim Rothwell, said.

“Failure to control ectoparasites like cattle tick and buffalo fly is a major roadblock to improved quality, value, and sustainability of the northern Australian cattle industry.

Project leader and MST Managing Director, Dr. Ernest Lacey, said Probio-TICK would comprise a community of beneficial microbes applied to the hide of cattle.

“Probio-TICK applies the well-established science of human ‘inner-health’ probiotics to the ‘outer-health’ of cattle hides by boosting the animal’s innate resistance to pest invasion,” Dr. Lacey said.

“The project has greatly expanded our existing research effort with Macquarie University’s Future Fellow, Dr. Andrew Piggott, enabling another leading researcher, Dr. Fei Liu and renowned scientist, Professor Peter Karuso to join the collaboration to provide the right blend of skills and experience.”

This funding round was initiated as a stimulus in advance of the establishment of the CRC for Developing Northern Australia (CRCDNA). The project was recently announced by the Australian Government, MLA's statement read.

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