Sheep CRC- ASKBILL delivers free early warning for flystrike and cold 

CRC FOR SHEEP INDUSTRY INNOVATION

 

NEWS RELEASE

June 2018

ASKBILL delivers free early warning for flystrike and cold 

Merino producers across Australia are now forewarned and forearmed against the risk of flystrike and cold snaps, thanks to ASKBILL.

ASKBILL is web-based software which provides timely and accurate predictions of sheep wellbeing and productivity using weather, stock and pasture information to sheep producers across Australia.

It has been developed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) with the support of WoolProducers Australia (WPA) to provide producers with timely and accurate predictions of sheep well-being and productivity using climate, stock and pasture information.

Among a suite of new features recently added to ASKBILL are freely accessible flystrike and cold maps which provide national five-day forecast maps detailing high-risk areas so that producers can take early action to protect their flocks.

Registered users of the full ASKBILL suite of tools also have access to long-range predictions of the risk of flystrike, out to six months in advance to optimise planning of chemical applications and management activities such as shearing and crutching.

Other new features that have been recently added to ASKBILL include:

  • Predictions for growth rates for lambs finished on grass, with or without supplementation
  • Predictions for greasy fleece weights up to six months out from shearing, and
  • Inclusion of genetic information through the ability to import ram team Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs), and Flock Profile data from RamSelect to better predict live weight and performance.

The new features were added following an extensive user trial of ASKBILL, with the feedback provided by sheep producers and advisers around Australia critical to a raft of improvements and additions which have now been made live on the system.

The most important change was the incorporation of short- and long-term weather forecasts to complement actual measurements and the long-term historic averages.

“The feedback provided to Sheep CRC development team by producers, farm advisers and WoolProducers through the pilot trial period, has been invaluable and has directly contributed to the new enhancements to ASKBILL’s performance,” Sheep CRC chief executive James Rowe said.

“The changes include fewer and better-targeted alerts, faster synchronising of predictions, and new features such as feed budget predictions out to six months to help producers plan stocking rates and supplementary feeding from joining through to lambing.

“These new features will enhance the usefulness of ASKBILL for sheep producers, improving their ability to minimise risk and maximise flock wellbeing and productivity.”

The latest version of ASKBILL has been made live to the producer testing group for final validation ahead of the full commercial launch later this year.

  • The cold and flystrike risk maps are available for all producers to use by visiting askbill.com.au.

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Media contact: Michael Thomson, 0408 819 666.

 


Centre for Invasive Species Solutions- Coordinated control is the key for action on wild dogs

Coordinated control is the key for action on wild dogs

Up to $111 million dollars in lost productivity!

Each year, this is the estimated total cost to agricultural sector associated with wild dog attacks, according to the latest economic impact assessment.

The scourge of wild dogs is not going away, but slowly and surely battles are being won across the country, thanks, in part, to coordinated, cross-tenure and strategic community-led control on wild dogs. So can we turn this number around?

Greg Mifsud is the National Wild Dog Management Coordinator funded through the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions through a co-investment model that includes WoolProducers Australia, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd, Meat and Livestock Australia, Animal Health Australia, Sheep Producers Australia and the Cattle Council of Australia.

Over the past ten years Greg has been leading the national charge on wild dogs by working with multiple stakeholders to make sure wild dog (and feral animal) management activities are built into national livestock production extension programs to see feral animal control delivered as part of on-farm management activities.

Since being in his role, Greg has seen the implementation of nine industry funded regional wild dog coordinators across the country who ensure strategic programs are rolled out effectively in problematic wild dog areas such as Western QLD and NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.

Over the next five years Greg will be working with various stakeholders to implement effective strategic wild dog management policies and programs out across all Australia, so we don’t lose the current momentum being built in the sector.

One of the major advances in the project has been the development of State wild dog advisory committees that involve both industry and government members. Greg sits on each of State wild dog advisory committees to provide information on best practice control, coordinated approaches to management and the results of current research, all of which supports the development of better informed wild dog management policies and programs.

Through the army of regional wild dog coordinators now in place, Greg is aiming to establish at least 15 new community based vertebrate pest control groups each year. However, to achieve this he also wants to ensure an improved regulatory framework for access to wild dog control products across all jurisdictions, ensuring programs can be rolled out effectively on farm without red-tape holding back action.

Just as importantly though, is empowering communities through the delivery of consistent and up to date information on integrated wild dog management to producers involved in the wool and red meat industries making sure they have access to current best practice information and surveillance mechanisms. It is also vital that communication between public and private land managers is maintained to generate more effective wild dog management outcomes.

On the flip side, Greg is also ensuring that wild dog control methods also provide improved conservation of endangered faunal communities through reduced predation following strategic and coordinated control programs for wild dogs which also reduce populations of foxes and feral cats.

Greg’s role as National Wild Dog Management Coordinators has received renewed funding until 2022.

If you’d like to contact Greg, you can email him at greg.mifsud@invasives.com.au

Greg (pictured in front group without a hat/cap) talking with producers in Western NSW at an industry funded wild dog control training day (image provided by the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions).

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Greg (middle) is talking with producers about effective wild dog control methods, at the National Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo 2017 (image provided by the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions).


Australian Wool Innovations- HEALTHY SHEEP, SLEEP AND PASTURES

HEALTHY SHEEP, SLEEP AND PASTURES

 

At Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), we’re investing in a diverse range of projects across the global wool supply chain. For WoolProducers June newsletter edition, we’ve highlighted projects from some of the different areas of health that we’re currently looking into – from sheep health, to sleep health, to pasture health.

Sheep health: RAMping Up Repro

To help woolgrowers improve the performance of their rams and increase their profitability, AWI, in collaboration with Zoetis, has developed RAMping Up Repro.

This new half-day workshop focuses on the importance of ram health and pre-joining management, giving growers an understanding of how best practice ram management can improve reproductive performance. AWI’s Woolgrower Education & Capacity Building Manager, Emily King, said “RAMping Up Repro provides a hands-on guide to practical ram examination and helps woolgrowers to manage their ram teams with confidence and make the most of their investment.”

The workshops are being rolled out across the country via AWI’s state extension networks, using leading local trainers. Sheep Connect NSW coordinator Megan Rogers says RAMping up Repro is a complimentary course to the successful Lifetime Ewe Management program.

“Topics covered include nutrition and condition, animal health and management, checking the 4Ts (teeth, toes, tackle and testicles), managing shearing, assessing for structural soundness, and all things in between,” Megan said.

For more information on upcoming RAMping Up Repro workshops in your area, contact your AWI state network coordinator or email Emily.King@wool.com

Sleep health: Wool for a proven good night’s sleep

In collaboration with the University of Sydney, AWI funded the first ever study to investigate the effects of wool, cotton and polyester sleepwear on the sleep quality of older adults (aged 50-70) under warm conditions.

Sleepwear plays several crucial roles in thermoregulation (the way the body regulates its core temperature), which is a main factor for getting a good night’s sleep. Overall, wool was shown to perform better than cotton and polyester for the majority of sleep quality parameters including:

  • Sleeping in wool reduced the time taken to get to sleep
  • Sleeping in wool resulted in less fragmented sleep
  • Sleeping in wool resulted in less total wake time

AWI’s Fibre Advocacy and Eco-Credentials Program Manager, Angus Ireland said, “the great value of these research investments on behalf of Australian woolgrowers is that we are now building a very solid and contemporary body of scientific evidence to support claims that wool is beneficial to a good night’s sleep. This will promote demand for wool in sleepwear.”

AWI now has its sights on future studies to identify benefits of sleeping in wool for other groups, such as menopausal women who often experience hot flashes and disturbed sleep, and shift workers who have disrupted sleep patterns.

Land health: Soybean Dwarf Virus mystery solved

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) have collaborated with the Department of Primary industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the University of Western Australia (UWA) to uncover the cause of the recent outbreak of subterranean clover red leaf syndrome affecting large areas in southern Western Australia.

The collaboration resulted in the successful identification of Soybean Dwarf Virus as the cause of subterranean clover red leaf syndrome. Spread by aphids, the symptoms of the syndrome include red leaves, stunted plants and premature plant death, with outbreaks becoming more frequent and widespread. This is considerably concerning as subterranean clover is the most widely used annual pasture legume in WA with around eight million hectares sown.

To help growers prevent future outbreaks of the syndrome, a grower guide has been developed that includes an integrated disease management strategy.

AWI’s Production Systems and Wool Credentials Project Manager, Melissa McAulay, said that the results achieved are a great win for woolgrowers.

“Prior to this investigation, no-one had a clear idea of what this syndrome was. Through this collaboration, we were able to identify the issue and develop a tool to support growers and prevent widespread damage caused by future outbreaks of the syndrome,” she said.

You can find a copy of the grower guide here.

 

REMINDER: IT’S A WOOLPOLL YEAR!

AWI can only undertake projects like the above because of your levy investment. Keep an eye out for your voting papers in September and don’t miss out on having your say


ParaBoss

ParaBoss: Australia's resource for control of worms, flies and lice in sheep, and worms in goats

ParaBoss offers the current, nationally endorsed, management recommendations for worm, flystrike and lice control via three websites: WormBoss, FlyBoss and LiceBoss.

  • WormBoss provides the procedural information to make an integrated worm control program simple and practical.
  • Use the WormBoss website wormboss.com.au as your reference for all worm control information, including drenches, management and testing.

Worms are the major health issue for sheep in the moderate and higher rainfall areas of Australia. As such, integrated worm control programs are required in these areas as they are far more effective and sustainable than reliance on drenching, but they require some procedural knowledge to be done correctly.

An integrated program combines grazing management, breeding for resistance, worm testing and drench testing with drenching. This provides more ways to reduce worm burdens and to slow their build-up, so that a shortfall in one method is unlikely to cause failure of a program, which can occur if only one strategy, such as drenching, is used.

The WormBoss Worm Control Programs and Drench Decision Guides make implementation of an integrated program relatively simple on most properties. They provide ‘what to do and when to do it’, straightforward, practical, procedural information for producers.

The Drench Decision Guides come in a downloadable or interactive web version that assist with the day-to-day timing of when mobs should be drenched and provide recommendations on whether a long-acting drench is warranted and when to check the mob again.

  • FlyBoss provides information and tools to determine the most effective program for your region and your flock.
  • Use the FlyBoss website flyboss.com.au and strategic planning tools to develop an integrated approach to controlling flystrike

Flystrike ­­­­is a major health issue for sheep—second only to worms—across all rainfall zones of Australia. Integrated breeding and management strategies for flystrike control are the most effective.

An integrated program for control of flystrike combines both breeding and management approaches, which together greatly reduce the overall risk of a program failure, as the chance of a number of methods failing simultaneously is far less likely.

FlyBoss provides information on how to solve your current flystrike problem and to prepare a flystrike management plan. It also provides a range of interactive decision-support tools that allow you to:

 

Optimise Treatment identify when your sheep are most at risk of strike, based on shearing and crutching time and the normal long term weather pattern for your region, and to optimise the time of treatment
Compare Management compare management systems with different shearing and crutching schedule and different chemical protective treatment or different breech modification alternatives.
Products check products available for control of flystrike (or lice), active ingredients, method of application, withhold periods, approximate costs, etc.
WoolRes estimate the pesticide residue levels cause by lice or flystrike treatments.

The tools provide information based on climatic conditions in your local region and the characteristics of your flock, which is important in tailoring a strategic flystrike control approach unique to your property.

  • Use the LiceBoss website liceboss.com.au as your reference for all lice control information, including treatments, prevention, management and monitoring

Lice remain one of the top health issues for sheep producers. Even after lice have gone from a property there is the ever-present threat of a new incursion.

LiceBoss provides technical information for monitoring, preventing and treating lice; lice biology and economic effects and on resistance, residues and safety of treatments. It also provides a series of interactive decision support tools which allow you to enter farm specific data and get answers applicable to your property and particular management circumstances.

  • Products Tool: registered products for lice and flystrike control.
  • Ewe-lamb Treatments Tool: treatment strategies for pregnant ewes or ewes that have lambs at foot.
  • Long Wool Tool: for determining the best course of action when lice are found more than 6 weeks after shearing.
  • Treatment Tool: assesses dipping, showering and backline application methods and helps to identify faults in technique and possible causes of a treatment failure.
  • Rubbing Tool: determines whether rubbing is likely to be due to lice or some other cause.
  • Short Wool Tool: assists in deciding whether to treat for lice at, or soon after, shearing. It can also help identify potential sources of infestation and assist the design of a lice biosecurity plan.
  • Wool Residue Tool: estimates the pesticide residue concentration likely in the wool at the next shearing after application of chemicals for lice or flystrike control.

Using pain relief during husbandry procedures

Using pain relief during husbandry procedures

Robert Suter, Senior Veterinary officer – Sheep, Agriculture Victoria, Attwood

(Article first appeared in Agriculture Victoria- Sheep Notes, Autumn 2018)

During the past few years, a number of products have reached the Australian market that provide analgesia (or pain relief) during management procedures such as castration, tail docking and mulesing. That they are available at all is a result of an industry-wide effort involving innovation and risk taking by drug manufacturers, and the cooperation of regulators, led by the demand for such products by industry.

For the animals we manage, the use of these products leads to great relief from the pain at the time of enduring these procedures and afterwards as they recover. Using the products shows the world that you, as producers, really do care about raising and managing your animals as ethically as possible.

More advances are coming, with the earliest to appear most likely in the form of an expanded range of management procedures for which the product is registered. Figure 1 below shows a prototype of the Num-Nuts® rubber ring castrator, which injects local anaesthetic into the tail and scrotum (of ram lambs) before the ring is applied. Its use was demonstrated at the International Sheep Veterinary Congress in Yorkshire, England, last year by its designers. Research that they have conducted shows that injecting local anaesthetic halves the measurable chemical pain reaction within the lamb’s body, and practically abolishes the behavioural reactions to the application of the rubber ring.

Figure 1: Prototype Num-Nuts® applicator demonstrated at the Harrogate International Sheep Veterinary Congress in May 2017. Local anesthetic is injected before the rubber ring is applied, numbing the area

We are fortunate to have these products become available, but they shouldn’t be abused. It is important to closely read and follow the label directions, unless the product has been prescribed by a veterinarian, when their instructions must be followed. Ensure that you can use the product for the procedure that you are performing. For example, Tri-Solfen®, the gel developed to apply on mulesing wounds on merino lambs, has recently had the range of registered uses expanded to:

  • mulesing of lambs
  • tail docking of lambs
  • castration of lambs and calves.

This expanded range of use still excludes use wounds (such as shearing cuts), and any other uses.

We know that the pain associated with these procedures lasts longer than just the time when they are performed. If possible, it is preferable to use a combination of treatments that, between them, address both the immediate pain and any pain that might occur during the healing process.

Make sure that you heed the withholding periods. Also, if any of these products are used at marking time, ensure that you declare their use on the National Wool Declaration (NWD) when you offer your wool for sale. Some important export markets are sensitive to the detection of residues of the drugs that these products contain, and we must make every effort to protect our markets, both domestic and internationally. Declaring the use of analgesic products for pain relief on the NWD tells the buyers of your efforts to improve the welfare of the sheep that you care for.

Table 1 describes how you might use the commonly available analgesic products. Note that the two products containing the active ingredient meloxicam (Buccalgesic® and Metacam 20®) are only available on veterinary prescription. If you are considering using these products, contact your local veterinarian to find out what is required to have them prescribe these for use on your animals. Veterinarians may also recommend and prescribe alternative products in special circumstances, in addition to the ones listed in Table 1.

Table 1      Commonly available analgesia products for use in management procedures

  How applied When applied What it does When it works Meat WHP
Tri-Solfen® To the wound After the procedure, before release from the marking cradle Contains local anaesthetic to deaden pain, adrenaline to stop bleeding and a disinfectant Upon applying to an open wound 90 days
Buccalgesic® Gel, inside the cheek Before the procedure Relieves pain by reducing inflammation From 10 minutes 10 days
Metacam 20® Injection, under the skin, high on the neck Before the procedure Relieves pain by reducing inflammation From 30 minutes 11 days

WHP = withholding period before sale for slaughter

 


Victorian Farmer's Federation

Querying Q fever – the what, why and who
Written by Livestock Health & Biosecurity VICTORIA

Q fever, once known as query fever, is the most commonly reported zoonotic disease in Australia.

While it rarely causes clinical disease in animals, those working across the livestock value chain are at risk, including farmers, farm workers, abattoir workers and agents.

The most recent nationally subsidised vaccination program, implemented in 2002, reduced the number of reported Q fever cases in Australia. At the beginning of the campaign there were 792 cases reported annually in Australia. These numbers reduced to 352 when the campaign ended in 2005, as seen in Figure 1.

The vaccine has not been subsidised since and the number of reported Q fever cases has continued to rise.

An outbreak at a Victorian meat packing facility in 2016 resulted in a Q fever awareness campaign run by the Victorian Farmers Federation’s Livestock Group. The campaign promoted the dangers of Q fever and the importance of people getting vaccinated.

Figure 1. Notifications of Q fever in Australia 1991 to 2017. Source: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

Why is it important?

Q fever costs the Australian livestock industry millions of dollars through lost employee productivity.

There is now an average of 520 cases reported each year over the last 5 years. All age groups are susceptible but the most commonly reported demographic is males between 45 and 69 years of age.

Symptoms of Q fever can be non-specific, including high fever, extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain and severe headaches. Not surprisingly, the disease is often mistaken for the flu and goes untreated and so unreported.

Initial symptoms can evolve into acute Q fever and include symptoms such as hepatitis, pneumonia, headaches and, in rare cases, meningitis and encephalitis. The illness can be recurring, putting people off work for a minimum of two weeks with recovery potentially taking 12 months or longer.

In extreme cases, symptoms can develop further into chronic Q fever. This occurs in two forms, the most common form causing inflammation of the heart and heart valves, occurring in 60 – 70 per cent of those affected, and Post Q Fever Fatigue Syndrome, occurring in 10-20 per cent of those affected.  Death occurs in less than five per cent of chronic Q fever cases and both forms are very difficult to treat and can have a significant impact the quality of life of those affected.

Who is at risk?

Q fever is caused by a bacteria Coxiella burnetti which can survive in air, soil, water and dust, and also on items such as wool, hides, clothing, straw and packing materials.

Individuals that come into contact with material contaminated by the bacteria are at potential risk of contracting Q fever. This includes:

  • inhalation of droplets or dust
  • contact with animal waste products including urine, milk, faeces or afterbirth
  • contact with soiled straw or wool
  • consuming un-pasteurised milk.

What can be done to reduce the impact?

Vaccination is more than 95 per cent effective in protecting against Q fever and is recommended for those working in the livestock industry. The process requires testing before vaccination to see if an individual has previously been exposed to Q fever, followed by a one-off vaccination that will protect against Q fever for life for those who haven’t been exposed

To find a vaccinator in Australia visit www.qfever.org/findavaccinator.

As well as vaccination, basic hygiene practises may reduce the spread of Q fever. Such practices include:

  • washing hands and arms in soapy water after handling animals or carcasses
  • washing animal body fluids from work sites and equipment
  • minimising dust and rodents in slaughter and animal housing areas
  • keeping sheep and cattle yard facilities well away from domestic areas
  • removing protective and/or other clothing that may carry infectious material before returning home
  • properly disposing of animal tissues including afterbirth
  • wearing P2 masks in high risk situations when unvaccinated.

Q fever is a debilitating, preventable disease which all livestock producers and workers are potentially at risk of contracting. Don’t put off getting vaccinated, get it done.

For more information contact Livestock Health & Biosecurity VICTORIA on 1300 020 163 or email lhbv@vff.org.au.

 


Livestock SA

Biosecurity remains key focus of SA producers

By JOE KEYNES, Livestock SA President

Biosecurity remains a key focus for livestock production across South Australia with recent changes to the Livestock Production Assurance and Johne’s Beef Assurance Score programs.

Impending changes to the national Ovine Johne’s Disease program, as well as TFI pulling out of mandatory OJD testing in SA, mean a biosecurity plan will be a critical tool for market assurance as to a property’s disease status.

As part of these changes, it’s important for all livestock producers to be aware of biosecurity on their properties and to put in place measures to reduce the threat of infectious diseases, pests or weeds.

Biosecurity was incorporated into the LPA program from October last year. It requires registered producers to ensure all on-farm practices meet LPA program requirements, which now includes biosecurity and animal welfare requirements. LPA helps to underpin Australia’s clean, green image of producing good quality, wholesome, safe red meat.

Biosecurity is also key to PIRSA’s new SA-based initiative, the One Biosecurity program, which is expected to be launched in mid-2018 for SA’s sheep, beef cattle and dairy cattle industries.

PIRSA plays a vital role in the development and success of the agricultural sector in SA, overlooking the Agriculture food and wine sector; Biosecurity SA; Fisheries and aquaculture; Forestry; Regions SA; Rural Solutions SA and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

A free and voluntary program, One Biosecurity is fully state funded through PIRSA, but Livestock SA has had a close involvement with the program, having been involved with representatives on its steering committee since it was first in development.

Livestock SA board members have also been involved in trialling the program, as we have a strong representation of members from across the state and in a wide range of industries. Personally, I’ve found the program’s registration process to be a straightforward and easy one. Altogether it took about an hour to complete and I found it easy to register, log on and complete the plan.

The real difference in the One Biosecurity program is that it is all based online so once producers have registered they can create a biosecurity plan for their property as well as be able to access all of the latest disease information, best practice advice and declare their status for a range of endemic diseases, dependent on their industry.

Agents, buyers and abattoirs will also be able to register and use the program.

One Biosecurity is a great step forward for our industry and will help to provide credible assurances to existing domestic and international markets and help SA producers meet potential new market access requirements. It will also help improve disease surveillance and analysis capability.

A question often raised in relation to on-farm biosecurity is signage, and whether it is needed or not. While signage can be useful, it is not required in a biosecurity plan under either LPA, J-BAS or One Biosecurity.

If producers choose to use a sign, they can use any sign that fits their needs, whether it is a standard sign or otherwise. Signage can also be used to notify people entering your property that they are entering a food production area.

Thanks to funding from PIRSA Biosecurity SA, Livestock SA now have free biosecurity signs available for members. The signs are free to pick-up, but postage will be charged for any that have to be mailed out.

Details: To access a sign call the Livestock SA office on 08 8297 2299 or email admin@livestocksa.org.au

 

 


Best practice tools and strategies central to on-farm OJD control

 

 

                                

MEDIA RELEASE

26 June 2018

Best practice tools and strategies central to on-farm OJD control

Management of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD) in Australia beyond 2018 will continue as part of the Sheep Health Project at Animal Health Australia, enabling producers to still be able to use all the on-farm practices and tools currently recommended as part of a best practice approach to control.

The previous five-year National OJDMP (due to end in June 2018) is not being extended. This decision has been made by the sheep industry’s peak industry councils – Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia – based on expert technical advice that producers can continue to effectively manage the endemic disease as part of their overall approach to animal health and biosecurity.

Sheep Producers Australia Sheep Health and Welfare Manager, Stephen Crisp says extensive stakeholder consultation earlier this year on the future of the National OJD Management Plan did not present a clear outcome to retain, change or cease the program beyond June 30.

“As a result, the Boards of both organisations reviewed the technical advice provided by Animal Health Australia on the actual, not perceived, risk OJD presents to the industry,” Mr Crisp said.

“The advice was that OJD can be treated as one of a range of endemic diseases, such as ovine brucellosis, and be managed through the tools of the Sheep Health Project, rather than having a separate management plan.

“The tools include vaccination, Sheep Health Declarations, SheepMAP, abattoir testing through the National Sheep Health Monitoring Project and Regional Biosecurity Plans.

“We’re fortunate to have a vaccine against OJD, which is highly recommended for all flocks in endemic areas or at-risk properties, and we are working with AHA to increase the rates of vaccination across Australia.

“The Sheep Health Declaration is an effective tool for communicating health information when trading sheep, while the National Sheep Health Monitoring Project allows producers an insight into what conditions are detected in their sheep at the abattoir.

“The Market Assurance Program, better known as SheepMAP, provides auditable standards for managing OJD, helping producers to access some OJD-sensitive markets as well as provide a source of low-risk sheep.”

Mr Crisp said producers would not see any change in their day-to-day farming and those in Regional Biosecurity Plan areas would be able to continue to take a regional approach to management.

“As mentioned in the consultation phase, this does not affect the role of the states and how they regulate animal diseases. Producers will always need to be aware of, and comply with state regulations.”

WoolProducers Australia Director Ed Storey says the decision by nearly all states to wind back legislation regulating OJD means governments play a less direct role in management of the disease.

“This puts the management of OJD in the hands of each producer, who can choose their own strategy,” Mr Storey said.

“This can be anything from managing your own risk through implementing on-farm biosecurity practices, joining an audited assurance program such as SheepMAP, or collaborating with nearby producers on a Regional Biosecurity Plan.

“We strongly encourage producers to use Sheep Health Declarations – the best tool producers have in prevention of infection is to request a declaration when buying sheep and to provide one when selling.

Mr Storey said the consultative review recommended an extension plan be undertaken to producers to reiterate the benefits to animal health and biosecurity in adopting more of the Sheep Health Project tools on offer.

“We realise that some producers may be using a portion of the tools available but implementing more would add significant strength and rigour to their on-farm biosecurity activities. Both organisations want to encourage producer uptake of these tools and so will be working closely with the wider industry toward this goal.”

Feedback provided during the consultation phase has been collated into a report for transparency, however individual submissions have been kept confidential. Download the National OJD Management Plan 2013-2018 Consultative Review here

- ENDS -

Media enquiries: Jackie Poyser 0410 994 410 or JPoyser@animalhealthaustralia.com.au

About Sheep Producers Australia

Sheep Producers Australia is the voice on issues that affect sheep production businesses. SPA does this through advocating for better business outcomes, monitoring investment of producer levies and improving information flow up and down the value chain.

About WoolProducers’ Australia

WoolProducers Australia (WPA) is the peak national body for the wool producing industry in Australia, representing farmers who have an interest in growing wool. WPA advocates the industries interests to the Federal Government and internationally enabling woolgrowers to determine policy and drive change in their industry. WoolProducers Australia is the only national organisation that can speak on behalf of the mainstream wool industry and represent the concerns and hopes of wool growers.