The do's and don'ts of moving horses from Queensland and NSW

Updated: 26 February 2014

Don’t spread cattle ticks

Cattle tickCattle ticks, the most serious external parasite of cattle in Australia, can attach to horses and be spread via horse movements. The risk is high with horses moving south from coastal Queensland where cattle ticks are endemic.

For this reason, there are varying movement requirements for horses in north-east NSW and Queensland.

Map showing tick regions in Queensland and NSWThe three areas that have special significance (see map) are:

  • Tick Infested Queensland
  • Tick Free Queensland
  • Tick Free NSW.

Stock travelling between these areas may require inspection, treatment and/or a permit. Contact NSW DPI’s Cattle Tick Program for information.


  • Hang up your horse rugs and saddle when visiting tick-infested Queensland, and leave your hay on the truck. Cattle ticks have been found on horses after treatment due to reinfestation from rugs, tackle and hay.
  • Stop at a Crossing Office when moving across the Queensland or NSW tickline with horses. You are required by law to have your horse checked or treated at a treatment centre to prevent cattle tick outbreaks in Tick Free Areas.
  • Give 24 hours notice and obtain an appointment time before arriving at a treatment centre. This will help prevent a delay to your journey, as treatment facilities are staffed to meet confirmed appointments only.
  • Check your horse thoroughly for ticks in the six weeks following a trip to a cattle tick infected area of Queensland. The cattle ticks may be resistant to treatments at the border, or your horse may be reinfested from a rug or other tackle.
  • Report any ticks you find to NSW Department of Primary Industries or to QLD Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF QLD) and have them identified.
  • Contain your horse if it has ticks, until the ticks have been identified. Moving or riding horses infested with cattle ticks extends the area of land affected and the risk to the livestock industries.


  • Don’t leave your horse rug, saddle, tackle or hay on the ground when visiting a cattle tick infected area of Queensland.
  • Don’t leave the Tick Infected Area of Queensland without checking requirements with DAFF QLD.
  • Don’t arrive at a Queensland or NSW treatment centre without first giving 24 hours notice, and obtaining an appointment time.
  • Don’t let your horse go unchecked for ticks in the six weeks following a trip to Queensland.
  • Don’t ignore unusual ticks you find on your horse.
  • Don’t move your horse from its present location if it has unusual or unidentified ticks on it.
  • Don't transport livestock across the Queensland tick line or NSW border east of Killarney without notifying the appropriate inspector.

Report cattle ticks

See the following diagrams and descriptions to help you identify ticks:

Bush tick, cattle tick and paralysis tick

  • Bush tick - Legs are dark redbrown and the first pair are close to the snout.
  • Cattle tick - Legs are pale cream with a wide space between the first pair and the snout.
  • Paralysis tick - Legs are close to snout; the first and last pair are brown and the second and third pair are pale.

If you find a cattle tick, or you're not sure, then contact:

  • Cattle Tick Program headquarters at Wollongbar, Ph. (02) 6626 1201; or
  • your District Vet with Local Land Services.


If you have any questions about cattle ticks or horse movements, please contact a NSW DPI regulatory officer at the phone numbers listed below.

If you intend crossing the NSW-Queensland border with your horse, please ensure you make an appointment. This will help avoid delays to your journey, particularly if treatment or inspection is required.

Crossing contacts

You must make an appointment 24 hours before arriving at a border treatment facility.

Tweed Heads (see image and map below):

Treatment facility (Kirra), Ph. (07) 5536 4714, Fax (07) 5536 1290
Crossing Office is open 7 days, 5am-9pm (QLD time) with spraying appointments from 6:00am to 8:00pm only.

Mount Lindesay: Use Kirra contact number.

DAFF QLD Call Centre: Ph. (07) 3404 6999

DAFF QLD at Aratula, Ph. (07) 5463 8368 or 0427 133 388
DAFF QLD at Helidon, Ph. (07) 4697 7228 or 0457 984 150

Or see -


Follow these signs to Kirra yards at Tweed Heads.

View Kirra spray yards in a larger map