An anthrax outbreak in St George is not a threat to other areas, authorities said.
An anthrax outbreak in St George is not a threat to other areas, authorities said. Contributed

Anthrax threat low for Southern Downs

AN ANTHRAX outbreak that killed 80 cattle on a St George property doesn't pose a threat to livestock in other areas, authorities said.

Biosecurity Queensland said the contaminated property had been contained in line with national protocol.

BQ chief biosecurity officer Dr Jim Thompson said tests conducted on the dead animals last week confirmed the presence of the bacteria that caused anthrax.

"It's believed the cattle deaths were caused by the disturbance of contaminated soil, followed by rainfall that distributed the soil containing the bacteria,” he said.

"We commend the veterinarian and property owner for their quick response that assisted us in minimising the risk to the local industry.”

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the risk of human exposure to anthrax from the cattle was low.

"The veterinarian (who treated the animals) used appropriate personal protective equipment and eight people, including family and a farm worker, did not have any contact with the dead animals,” Dr Young said.

The last case of anthrax in Queensland, in 2002, was successfully contained. The bacteria has appeared more frequently in NSW.