Enzootic Bovine Leucosis

Enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL) is a disease of adult cattle due to infection with the bovine leucosis virus.

Cattle may be infected at any age. Most infections do not show clinical signs. Some cattle over three years old develop persistent lymphocytosis and a smaller proportion develop lymphosarcomas (tumours) in various internal organs leading to premature death.

A scheme to eradicate EBL from the Australian dairy herd began in the mid 1990s. With the prevalence of EBL now being very low, the final stages of eradication are taking place. Version 2.0 (February 2009) of the Standard Definitions and Rules for Control and Eradication of Enzootic Bovine Leucosis outlines the national approach which aims to achieve EBL freedom in the Australian dairy herd by 31 December 2012.

Information on Australian EBL surveillance statistics is available on the Animal Health Australia website.