Tasmania Online FarmPoint Tasmania
Advanced Search
Printer Friendly Page 

Timely reminder about Acute Bovine Liver Disease (March 2018)

Dairy farmers are being encouraged to be vigilant about an environmental disease that can affect cattle.​  The reminder comes as Biosecurity Tasmania confirmed a case of Acute Bovine Liver Disease (ABLD) on a property in the Derwent Valley. 

ABLD is an environmental disease and is not infectious. Like other photosensitivity conditions, it is believed ABLD is due to a toxin or toxin combination produced by a specific type of pasture fungi. The risk is often not farm-wide but rather associated with specific paddocks or areas within a paddock.


There is no specific treatment for ABLD, however moving the affected cattle away from the pasture where the disease was first observed and providing shade, easy access to water and other supportive treatments assists in recovery which can take many weeks. Deaths from secondary issues are common.


Autumn conditions - particularly where there is intermittent warmth and cooling and the odd shower  - is historically associated with the occurrence of photosensitivity syndromes including ABLD. 


The cause of ABLD is unknown although the presence of rough dog’s tail grass (Cynosurus echinatus) and Drechslera spp. fungi in the pasture system is frequently associated with the disease. 


Biosecurity Tasmania thanks the examining veterinarian and farm manager for their cooperation. 


There is more information about the disease on the DPIPWE website.  Information is also available from DPIPWE Livestock Officers on 1300 368 550.