Hunter Local Land Services District vets are urging anyone who hunts or comes into contact with feral pigs to take extra care with their personal hygiene and safety, with confirmed cases of brucellosis in feral pigs in the Hunter region and increasing cases of brucellosis being confirmed in local hunting dogs.
District vet Jim Kerr says anyone who may come into contact with feral pigs must be aware of the risks.
"If you own land where feral pigs occur, or are engaged in feral pig control, I recommend taking precautions to protect your health," Jim said.
"In addition to the risk that infected feral pigs pose to domestic pig populations, brucellosis also poses serious health risks to humans and dogs, so really you should just presume any feral pig you come upon is potentially infected, and take appropriate safety measures to reduce your risks.
"Considering other zoonotic diseases feral pigs can carry such as leptospirosis and Q-fever, it is always important to ensure good hygiene and protect your animals as well."
Feral pig hunting is the number one risk for catching brucellosis in NSW.
Pig hunting dogs are also at high risk, and can potentially pass on the infection to other dogs and humans.
You can protect yourself, your family and dogs from brucellosis and other diseases that animals may carry by following these steps:
Landholders being impacted by feral pigs are being urged to report sightings to Local Land Services biosecurity officers on 1300 795 299 or via FeralScan.
More information on the impacts of brucellosis for humans can be found at health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/brucellosis.aspx and health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/brucellosis-and-pig-hunting.aspx.
And for dogs: dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/animal/humans/brucellosis-in-dogs.
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