Footrot in im­port ram

Countryman - - NEWS - Melissa Wil­liams

An iso­lated case of vir­u­lent footrot has been de­tected in a stud ram im­ported by a cen­tral grain­belt grower from the East­ern States.

The find­ing was made dur­ing a rou­tine fol­low-up in­spec­tion by the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment af­ter the an­i­mal cleared bor­der in­spec­tions on the way into WA.

The prop­erty in­volved is now sub­ject to move­ment re­stric­tions to limit the po­ten­tial for spread of dis­ease.

DPIRD footrot con­trol pro­gram man­ager Jenny Cot­ter said the farm op­er­a­tor had fol­lowed im­port pro­to­cols and iso­lated the ram, which had min­imised the like­li­hood of spread.

She said footrot had not been found in any other an­i­mals trans­ported on the same truck.

As part of WA’s en­try con­di­tions, sheep im­ported from in­ter­state must be cer­ti­fied by a vet as com­ing from a prop­erty that does not have ac­tive vir­u­lent footrot and are checked at the bor­der.

Sheep then un­dergo two in­spec­tions by a DPIRD in­spec­tor or pri­vate vet at 28 to 35 days and 90 to 100 days post-ar­rival.

“Th­ese bor­der con­trols and fol­low-up in­spec­tions and test­ing are an im­por­tant part of dis­ease con­trol to pro­tect WA an­i­mal health,” Dr Cot­ter said.

Footrot can im­pact live­stock pro­duc­tiv­ity and a key sign is lame­ness from le­sions on the feet.

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