When contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) was first detected on a farm north of Melbourne, at Bundoora, in 1858, the predominant theory of miasma was being challenged by contagionist theories of disease transmission. This well-documented case was recorded during a period of change in the scientific assessment of disease and therefore affords an exploration of what aspects of the landscape were considered important for livestock health at the time. Although the introduction, vaccination programs and eventual eradication of CBPP on mainland Australia has been well explored, scholars have neglected this aspect of the disease's history. By comparing 19th century records of farmland with how the site appears today, it is also possible to highlight the limited information provided by contemporary texts, while at the same time developing an appreciation of the ways in which the perception of the rural landscape has changed. This differing perception has implications for the utilisation of these sources for veterinary and environmental historians seeking to understand the mid-19th century agricultural landscape and how it relates to animal health.