Be aware of biosecurity credentials of bought-in sheep

Ewes-Port-Neill

Vendors are also reminded that they need to fill in the SHD correctly as there is legal significance when signing this document.

Peak woolgrower representative body, WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers), is urging sheep producers purchasing stock to ensure the biosecurity credentials of the animals before receival.

Purchasing new livestock is one of the highest risk activities for introducing disease, pests or parasites into your flock and with the favourable change in season in large parts of eastern Australia, many producers are in the process of restocking.

WoolProducers president Ed Storey said with low flock numbers, both at a national and property level due to the recent drought in large parts of sheep producing country, we are seeing sheep purchases occurring across regional and state lines.

“It is therefore essential purchasers are confident of the biosecurity risk profile of the sheep they are buying in,” Mr Story said.

“The Sheep Health Declaration (SHD) is one tool that can assist in determining this risk, so be sure to ask the vendor for one before purchase.”

By managing biosecurity decisions at this crucial time there is minimised risk and maximised opportunity for profitability. Endemic diseases and parasites can have a long and expensive impact on sheep flocks once established.

The recent change in seasonal conditions also sees the increased risk of severe endemic conditions rise.

Mr Storey said, “Quarantining any incoming sheep for a reasonable amount of time to observe any symptoms such as lameness is also important”.

“We are hearing anecdotally of an increase in virulent footrot cases being found, so it is incumbent that purchasers are not introducing unwanted problems into their flock.”

Vendors are also reminded that they need to fill in the SHD correctly as there is legal significance when signing this document.

“Flock health history, location, testing previously undertaken and vaccination history are vital pieces of information in making risk-based purchases and should be provided to buyers,” Mr Storey said.

A copy of the Sheep Health Declaration is available here: https://www.farmbiosecurity.com.au/wp- content/uploads/2019/11/National-Sheep-Health-Declaration_fillable.pdf

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