Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

Bucks for brains

Did you know that you can be paid for submitting eligible sheep or cattle brains for testing, as part of national surveillance for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)? TSE’s are fatal, neurological diseases such as Mad Cow Disease in cattle and Scrapie in sheep.

Testing brains for TSEs is important to demonstrate that Australia continues to remain free of these diseases. This is an ongoing process, and producers are invited to submit samples for testing from animals that meet the required criteria. Producers can receive $300 for cattle and $100 for sheep samples.

Sheep must be between 18 months and 5 years old displaying symptoms similar to scrapie such as:

  • -behavioural and neurological signs
  • -poor coordination
  • -muscle tremors
  • -abnormal posture
  • -difficulty rising
  • -paralysis

Cattle must be between 30 months and 9 years and displaying signs similar to Mad Cow, such as:

  • -behavioural and neurological changes
  • -excessive licking of nose & flanks
  • -poor co-ordination (staggering, circling)
  • -muscle tremors
  • -paralysis
  • -excitability
  • -increased or decreased sensitivity to sound, pain, heat, cold or touch

Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these signs in your sheep or cattle and enquire about the program when talking to them

For more information, click here