More good news for wombat mange research

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

The Tasmanian Liberal Government continues to work with researchers and community groups to support the ongoing management of wombat mange.

The latest research into the use of the systemic insecticide Bravecto to treat wombat mange has shown encouraging results.

Recently published results from University of Tasmania trials on wombats in captivity have found Bravecto appears to be a safe and effective treatment for sarcoptic mange, with a single dose resulting in significant recovery of wombats within three to four weeks of treatment.

This is promising news and will be valuable for wildlife experts and veterinarians as we continue to consider ways to best address wombat mange in Tasmania.

Trials with Bravecto are now expanding to include treatment of wombats in the wild – an environment that presents extra challenges for both treatment and monitoring of recovery – and we remain hopeful of positive results here too.

Bravecto is not currently licensed for use on wombats in Australia and veterinary authorisation is required to treat wombats with this product. Wombats are protected in Tasmania, and a permit from DPIPWE may be required, depending on the method of administration of the treatment.

In the meantime, detailed guidelines for administration of Cydectin, an alternative treatment, which is licensed for ‘off-label’ use on wombats to assist in the treatment of mange, are available on the DPIPWE website.

The Tasmanian Government is providing $30,000 over three years to support this ongoing research, which is on top of the $100,000 committed in 2017 for monitoring, research and financial support for community groups and individuals to treat mange-affected wombats.

DPIPWE also provides the most comprehensive information and advice on mange of any jurisdiction in Australia, and the Department will continue to take part in coordinated national discussions about the issues facing wombats in Australia.

While mange is widespread in Tasmania, prevalence is generally low overall, and wombat population trends have increased at a statewide level since 1985.

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