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Sheep Health

11 Jul 2021 7:22 PM | Jennie Curtis (Administrator)
Ashleigh Wildridge and Peter Dagg from Animal Health Australia, with assistance from Penny, presented an overview about sheep health and biosecurity. This information is relevant even if you only have a couple pet sheep.


Watch the webinar recording in YouTube.

Key points

  • Anything that moves can bring in pests, weeds and diseases
  • Making a whole of farm plan can help you decide the best place for paddocks, yards, trees, water, feed storage and visitor access
  • Making a footbath for visitors going into your paddocks is as easy as a bucket of (diluted) bleach
  • Quarantine all livestock that enter/return to your property for at least 21 days
  • Yards are easy to set up and make handling sheep much easier - they don’t have to be expensive
  • Your local vet can help you to learn about vaccinating and drenching
  • Check feed and water regularly for contaminants and keep them away from pests
  • Feed off the ground in a consistent location to reduce contamination of food and to help manage any weeds that come with the feed
  • You need a Property Identification Code (PIC) before you can bring livestock onto your property (contact Local Land Services)
  • When buying sheep, get a National Vendor Declaration (NVD) and a sheep health declaration from the seller and keep these in your records, NLIS registration is essential so you can record the movement of the sheep onto your property
  • Avoid buying sheep online, especially from social media pages or Gumtree if seller will not provide an NVD and sheep health declaration
  • When selling sheep, you need to have Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accreditation so that you can provide an NVD to the buyer along with a sheep health declaration
  • Chat to your neighbours about pest and weed control since working together can be more effective

Resources

A National Guide for Smallholder Livestock Producers
(Meat and Livestock Australia)

This guide, providing an overview of your responsibilities when keeping livestock including pet sheep in Australia, is a good place to start.

https://www.mla.com.au/globalassets/mla-corporate/research-and-development/program-areas/livestock-production/a-national-guide-for-smallholders.pdf

Farm Biosecurity toolkit
(Animal Health Australia and Plant Health Australia)

Forms, biosecurity manual and other resources for creating your biosecurity plan

https://www.farmbiosecurity.com.au/

A Producer’s Guide to Sheep Husbandry Practices 
(Meat and Livestock Australia)

Guidance for many standard sheep handling and treatment practices including yards, tagging, injections, worm egg counts, drenching, foot trimming, lamb marking and humane killing.

https://publications.mla.com.au/login/eaccess?elink=3GS9UMSdcGsMs351SXSL

Sheep Calendar of Operations
(NSW Local Land Services)

What to do when for sheep on the NSW South Coast region
https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1280923/Final-Version-SELLS_Sheep_Calendar.pdf

General information about biosecurity, health and welfare for sheep (Animal Health Australia)
https://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/species/sheep/

National Livestock Identification System (NLIS)
Register here to be able to record sheep movements on and off your property (this is free)
https://www.nlis.com.au

Meat and Livestock Australia
(MyMLA)
Register with MyMLA as the first step to gaining LPA accreditation so you can sell sheep (even pet sheep) and write NVDs
https://www.mla.com.au

Animal Carcass Disposal
(NSW DPI)
Safe handling and disposal of carcasses.
https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/1299603/animal-carcass-disposal.pdf

Yards and Equipment
(NSW DPI)
Series of fact sheets about design of yards, sheep handlers, ramps and shearing sheds.
https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/sheep/yards-equipment

Straying Stock
(NSW DPI)
What to do if stock stray onto your property
https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/723180/Straying-Stock.pdf

Vaccination in Sheep Flocks
(Meat and Livestock Australia)
Guide to how vaccinations work and the vaccines available for sheep.
https://www.mla.com.au/globalassets/mla-corporate/research-and-development/program-areas/animal-health-welfare-and-biosecurity/210517-vaccination-in-sheep-flocks.pdf

See also Vaccinations for Sheep in the Capital Region

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Small Farms Network Capital Region Inc
PO Box 313
Bungendore
NSW 2621

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