Broader pic­ture for sheep health

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Livestock -

SHEEP pro­duc­ers can now see a broader pic­ture of the health of their flock, us­ing car­case data from pro­cess­ing plants around the coun­try.

The data is col­lected by the Na­tional Sheep Health Mon­i­tor­ing Project, man­aged by An­i­mal Health Aus­tralia and sup­ported by Sheep Pro­duc­ers Aus­tralia and WoolPro­duc­ers Aus­tralia.

NSHMP has been ac­tive in abat­toirs na­tion­wide for over a decade, gather­ing data on a range of dis­eases and other con­di­tions which im­pact pro­duc­ers’ prof­its through in­creased pro­cess­ing waste and de­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity.

“The NSHMP checks car­cases and of­fal for 19 dif­fer­ent con­di­tions which hurt the pro­duc­ers’ bot­tom line, but which are of­ten not vis­i­ble on-farm,” AHA’s Se­nior Man­ager – Biose­cu­rity Dr Rob Bar­well said.

“Pro­duc­ers can also re­quest in­spec­tion for ovine Johne’s dis­ease in sheep over two years of age at par­tic­i­pat­ing abat­toirs.”

Dur­ing the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year NSHMP cap­tured data from a record num­ber of sheep, hav­ing in­spected 28,666 lines in 12 abat­toirs, to­talling more than 6.7 mil­lion sheep.

“That’s roughly one in ev­ery five sheep pro­cessed in Aus­tralia for that pe­riod, which is a huge achieve­ment for the project,” Dr Bar­well said.

“This means that more pro­duc­ers than ever can ac­cess their sheep health data and be­gin iden­ti­fy­ing and man­ag­ing con­di­tions in their flock which hit them in the hip pocket.”

Pre­vi­ously, some state depart­ments of agri­cul­ture or pri­mary in­dus­tries have mailed NSHMP or EASP re­ports to pro­duc­ers, how­ever this process has been im­proved with the ad­di­tion of NSHMP data to In­tegrity Sys­tems Com­pany’s Live­stock Data Link (LDL) por­tal.

LDL is a way for pro­duc­ers to ac­cess feed­back on live­stock per­for­mance and any po­ten­tial health is­sues that might re­quire man­age­ment.

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