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Brucellosis is a disease caused by infection with Brucella bacteria. This disease is common in many parts of the world, but it is rare in Australia. Brucella bacteria can infect a range of animals and humans. Brucella suis usually infects pigs but can also infect humans and dogs.
Brucella suis infection is widespread in Queensland’s feral pig population and it is endemic in the feral pig population in northern New South Wales (NSW). The extent of the spread of Brucella suis into other regions of NSW is unknown. Brucella suis in pigs is also known as porcine brucellosis.
Feral pigs are the usual source of infection for people, domestic pigs and dogs, particularly when there has been contact with the tissues and body fluids of an infected pig, for example, blood, urine, semen, uterine discharges and aborted foetuses.
Uncommonly, bacteria can be aerosolised, inhaled and cause disease, such as in laboratory workers who work with Brucella suis cultures; or during butchering of infected pigs. The infection is rarely transmitted from person-to-person.
Please note: Following amendments to the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 in November 2019, there are no longer restrictions preventing the movement of pigs from Queensland and from Western Australia and the Northern Territory north of the Tropic of Capricorn into New South Wales. This means any Brucellosis testing, declarations and certification previously required when moving pigs into New South Wales from these locations are no longer needed.